Grandfather: 'Their eyes were dead'
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PENSACOLA, Florida (CNN) -- A jury Friday found Alex King, 13, and his brother Derek, 14, guilty of beating their father to death with a baseball bat and then burning their home to try to destroy evidence of the murder.
Ricky Chavis, 40, whom the boys tried to blame for the killing, was found not guilty of the murder of Terry King, also 40.
Alex testified he had a sexual and intensely emotional relationship with Chavis, who is a convicted child molester.
Wilbur King, the father of the murder victim and grandfather of the two convicted boys, spoke with CNN Anchor Connie Chung after the verdicts were read and told her he found his grandsons' behavior disturbing.
CONNIE CHUNG: Sir, were you surprised at the verdict?
WILBUR KING: Not really.
CHUNG: Why not?
KING: Well, I had a feeling that my grandsons had a part in my son's murder. I don't hate them. I love them. But I had a gut feeling that they did have a part in it.
CHUNG: Why do you think they would kill their father?
KING: Well, there's a lot of circumstance that was around the murder, and their lifestyle, the way they were raised, and even to a conversation I had with them when I visited them in the jail.
CHUNG: And tell us about that conversation.
KING: Well, while I was in the jail visiting, when they were first incarcerated, I was talking to the boys, just general talk. And then, all of a sudden, the two boys got into a physical confrontation right in front of me. It was so violent.
CHUNG: You mean with each other?
KING: With each other, yes.
And they were so violent that an officer had to come inside and stop them and order them to quit, or else we would end our visit at that moment. So they settled down and quieted down.
At this point, I turned to Alex and I began to talk to Alex. And I asked him a point-blank question: What happened the night that they came home? Was there any confrontation? At that moment, Derek put his finger to his lips in a hush manner, telling Alex to keep his mouth shut.
And then the conversation changed at that moment. And then a little joking went on. And then finally Alex said to me, "When we stand before the judge, we'll tell the judge that we didn't do it."
CHUNG: Did you, at that time, believe that they were lying?
KING: No, I did not. The confrontation they had and the look in their eyes, the fact that he told me that he was reading "Harry Potter" books and "Star Wars" led me to believe that it was even deeper than what I thought.
CHUNG: Mr. King, just a little earlier, you said that, based on the way the boys were brought up, you had this feeling about them. How were they brought up? Can you tell us about their mother?
KING: Well, their mother -- what can I say about the mother? When the four boys were there. After the four boys were born, the mother deserted the home and went to live with another man. This man beat her up. And she came back to Terry. And then she left Terry again.
And so my son Terry had four boys to raise, had no one to help except the family. And the family did what they could for Terry, but it wasn't enough. And so the boys did not get the home care that they needed while they were young.
CHUNG: Did your son ever mistreat them?
KING: No, ma'am, never.
CHUNG: What did you know about the homosexual relationship that Alex, the younger son, had with this man named Rick Chavis?
KING: The only knowledge I had of it was what I saw and heard over the news media and what I read in the paper.
CHUNG: Didn't Alex talk to you about or mention homosexuality when you were talking about going to church?
KING: No, he didn't.
CHUNG: I believe you were -- the two of you were talking about going to church.
KING: Oh, yes, I remember.
We were discussing, while they were in jail, about church work and everything. And Derek looked at me and said, "I go to the Olive Baptist Church," and said, "They're prejudiced."
And I looked at him and I said, "Well, what do you mean they're prejudiced?"
He said, "Well, they're against homosexuals." And then Derek looked at me and he says, "Are you against homosexuals?"
And I said, "Yes, I am." I said: "It's dirty. It's filthy." And I said, "The Bible is against it." And then I shot the question immediately back to Derek, "Are you a homosexual?"
And he threw his arms up and said to me, between his arms, "No, I'm not." And so the subject changed again.
And so... I was just wondering why he brought the subject up.
CHUNG: I see.
Mr. King, your grandsons just look like choir boys. They look so innocent. I have to say that, when I was watching Alex on the witness stand, I couldn't imagine that he would be capable of what he was charged with. In part, he was charged with coming up with the idea of killing your son, their father, and that indeed Derek committed the crime. Do you believe that two boys are capable of doing so, doing just that?
KING: What I saw in that room with them that day that I visited them, I do. I believe they were capable.
CHUNG: But when you saw your grandson on the witness stand, didn't you think to yourself, "No, this little boy couldn't possibly have done anything that awful"?
KING: Well, I was rocking back and forth until they were on the stand and the defense attorney was questioning them and bombarded them with questions, especially Derek.
And I could understand. And as I watched the boys -- I keep a log of everything that happened off the Internet. And I have got all the newspaper clippings. But the thing that struck me the most was their eyes. Their eyes were dead. There was no emotion. There was nothing but just a blank look in their eyes.
And when Alex was on the stand describing how his father was killed, there was no emotion, no sobs, no regret. And the only time that I saw him weep or cry was this afternoon when they said that he was guilty of first-degree murder. Then I saw him begin to wipe his eyes.
CHUNG: Mr. King, Wilbur King, I thank you so much for being with us. And we feel for your sadness within your family. Thank you, sir.
KING: Thank you.
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