ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Sheriff's Department arrested Israel Benjamin Goudy, 32, on Friday afternoon on a charge of second-degree murder in the Oct. 17, 2011, death of Larry Wayne Whittaker. Whittaker had been shot four times and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sheriff Chris Mathes held a press conference on Friday afternoon immediately after Goudy's arrest. He said Goudy had just made a statement which had delayed the start of the press conference. The sheriff said Goudy would probably be arraigned early next week.
Mathes thanked his investigators and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for their efforts in closing the case. He said it took time to get the various pieces of the case to fit together.
He said Whittaker owned a lawn care business and had hired Goudy to work for him. Mathes said Goudy had also been invited to live in the residence at 257 Reynolds Road with Whittaker and his wife.
Mrs. Whittaker was employed as a security officer and was at work on the night of the fatal shooting, Mathes said. The two men were home together and Mathes said they began drinking heavily. An argument occurred and things escalated.
Mathes said the argument ended with Whittker being shot four times. Deputy Tim Matthews was the first officer to reach the murder scene after 911 had dispatched a call about a possible shooting. Goudy was found lying beside the road and waving towards officers.
Officers found Goudy was suffering from stab wounds. Whittaker's body was found a short distance away, lying near the front porch of the trailer. He was found with a gun in his right hand and a knife in his left hand.
Although Goudy was alleging he acted in self defense, "a lot of the physical evidence did not add up," Mathes said. "When we started putting the pieces back together and making sure it could happen the way Goudy said it did. We found it could not happen the way it was alleged."
Part of the evidence included the knife wounds sustained by Goudy. Lt. Mike Little of the sheriff's department also attended Friday's press conference and said Goudy had very superficial stab wounds to his upper legs, a puncture wound to his abdomen and several scrapes.
Little said Goudy has now admitted his wounds were self inflicted.
Mathes said Goudy will also be charged with tampering with evidence. Investigators suspect Goudy placed the gun and the knife in Whittaker's hands after he had been shot.