Mother Of Murder Victim Speaks For First Time In Crenshaw County

New Developments In Double Murder In Crenshaw County
New Developments In Double Murder In Crenshaw County

By Bryan Henry - bio | email

Highland Home, AL (WSFA) - 24 hours after the double murder, the shock is still evident, the grief unmistakable for the mother of 49-year old Charles Kelley.

"He was my only child. That's why it hurts so much. He was a good boy," said Betty Kelley of Highland Home.

More details are emerging on the fatal shootings on Highway 331 South.  Betty Kelley heard the initial shots while sitting on her front porch next to the family business store Kelley Grocery Mart.

"I heard another pow," she remembered.

Kelley ran next door to the store to see what happened. When she opened the back door, Kelley says she heard one of the two suspects say to the other:

"We got another one," Kelley said.

The gunman apparently meant he and his partner were coming after Kelley after they allegedly murdered her son and store employee Patricia Bargainer. Ms. Kelley says there were no customers in the store during the robbery.

"I ran as hard as I could to get to the house and call 911," said Ms. Kelley.

Before Ms. Kelley could even make it inside her home, she says the suspects started shooting at her. They missed, striking her home instead.

"They went in and robbed the place. That's what they done. They got the cash register and took off," said Betty Kelley.

Meantime, Kelley's Grocery Mart is a popular place, patrons quietly placed a wreath, a collection of flowers and a simple note to Charles and Pat.  The note read in part, 'You will both be missed. We will lean on our God to get us through this.'

Charles Kelley's widow, Sherry Kelley still can't believe it.

"He took care of me. This community lost the best man. I've lost my best man," said Sherry Kelley.

Betty Kelley tells WSFA 12 News the two suspects are in custody but Crenshaw County investigators aren't confirming anything for now saying they're 'still interviewing people.'

The fatal shootings are not only the first in Crenshaw County this year but the first since 2002 when a local man killed 6 members of his girlfriend's family.

A country store that's relied on the community to survive is now relying on the locals more than ever to get through a terrible ordeal.

The Kelley family says Pat Bargainer was 48 years old and very much part of the family who always wore a smile.

WSFA 12 News has learned the Crenshaw County District Attorney may have something to say about the double murder for the first time Friday morning.