Sheriff: Murder case solid
Published 5:03 am Wednesday, September 30, 2009
By By Adam Prestridge
special to the standard
As investigators continue to collect evidence and interview witnesses connected with last week’s murder in the small community of Nokomis, Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said he is gaining confidence in the case against the alleged shooter.
Clarence Luker, 37, and Lorraine Gray, 50, are being held at the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton on murder charges in the shooting death of 32-year-old Kenny Porter. Escambia County District Judge David Jordan placed a $100,000 bond on each earlier this week.
Porter was shot at approximately 7:10 p.m. on Sept. 24 during an alleged argument between Luker and Gray over a ladder leaning against the suspect’s travel trailer on Nathan Road, according to deputies at the scene. He was transferred to Atmore Community Hospital and later airlifted to USA Medical Center in Mobile where he was pronounced dead following surgery at 9:20 p.m.
Smith said a .22-caliber revolver is believed to have caused the fatal wound. The suspected murder weapon was later found near where Luker was single handedly apprehended by sheriff’s investigator Adam Johnson while hiding in the bushes near the scene of the crime.
Following their capture, one of the suspects claimed the gun had been tossed in a nearby river. Smith said the gun has been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science in Mobile for testing.
Following the shooting, the suspects fled the scene in a blue and silver late 1980s model van. A few hours later, the couple returned to the trailer where Gray was quickly detained at about 11 p.m.
Luker fled the scene but was apprehended by Johnson about an hour later while dog teams from Alabama and Florida were tracking the suspect.
Both Luker and Gray have confessed to being the person that pulled the trigger, Smith said. The case remains under investigation.
As investigators continue to piece together the events leading up to the murder and collect evidence and witness statements, Porter’s family is seeking assistance paying for their loved ones funeral expenses.
Funeral services for Porter were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Fretwell Tabernacle Holiness Church with Sister Helen Stewart officiating. Burial followed at Bankster Cemetery in Spanish Fort.
Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Gray Porter of Atmore; two sons, Clay Gray and Dikoda Gray, both of Atmore; his daughter, Taylor Gray of Atmore; his unborn daughter, Kennedy Gayle Porter of Atmore; his mother, Vanessa Porter of Chunchula; stepfather, David Phillips of Chunchula; grandparents, Jewel Porter of Mobile, Travis Hadley of Perdido and Aline Hadley of Perdido; three sisters, Shanna Johnson of Biloxi, Miss., Tasha Johnson of Mobile and Ona Johnson of Chunchula and a number of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Anyone interested in helping the family with funeral expenses can make a donation at Petty Eastside Chapel, 9260 Hwy 31, Atmore, AL 36502; or call the funeral home at 251-368-4540.