First-degree murder trial starts today in May 2010 shooting

Becky Campbell • Feb 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

A former Washington County man accused of killing his ex-wife’s boyfriend will face a jury beginning today in a first-degree murder case against him.

James Henry Allen, 51, is charged in the May 12, 2010, shooting death of Richard Carter at the Fall Branch home Allen once shared with Deborah Franklin. Allen and Franklin were married for 10 years and have three children.

Jury selection will begin today at 9 a.m.

Investigators say Allen waited in the dark outside the mobile home that night and allegedly fired a shotgun through the front door as Carter looked out the front door window.

Allen went on the lam for more than a day before he was arrested after his daughter became a liaison between him and Washington County sheriff’s deputies.

After his arrest, Allen agreed to talk to investigators and gave them a written statement. That statement was part of a preliminary hearing held in October 2010.

According to Washington County Sheriff’s Investigator Jeff Miller, Allen said he was angry about Carter living in the home he and Franklin once shared.

“She moved Rick into my home and he was using my couch and my bed and it made me angry,” Miller read from Allen’s statement.

Allen told investigators he also didn’t like the way Carter looked at Frankin and he was angry that she allowed Carter to move into the home he once shared with her.

He told officers he was watching the residence that night and had even removed the porch light bulb so he could pet his dog without being detected.

Allen also told officers he saw Carter looking out the window and thought the man was reaching for something and that’s when he fired through the door.

Allen is being held on a $301,000 bond. If convicted of first-degree murder, he faces life in prison.

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