Magoffin judge executive candidate accused of shooting friend

Alcohol may have played a role, witnesses told troopers: Citation

MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 68-year-old Republican candidate for judge executive in Magoffin County is in jail on first-degree assault charges after shooting another man early Tuesday morning.

According to the arrest citation filed by Kentucky State Police, Carter Whitaker was arrested at his home in the Royalton area near Salyersville in Magoffin County in connection with the shooting of his friend, Christopher Barnett in what one witness told troopers may have been fueled by alcohol.

Troopers were called to the shooting shortly after 3 a.m. and when they arrived, they found Barnett “bleeding profusely” from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the arrest citation. Witnesses told troopers the two men along with two others were sitting together when the shooting happened. The witnesses said the two men often “cuss and yell at each other” but the shooting was out of character, according to the citation.

Barnett didn’t want to talk about the incident but told troopers “he was dying.” Whitaker said he “did not know what happened or why it happened,” according to the citation. A witness said Whitaker had gotten the gun earlier because he was afraid Barnett was going to hurt him but the witness had told Whitaker to put the gun away. The same witness told troopers Whitaker “has consumed too much alcohol and he would normally of not done such a thing,” according to the affidavits.

Barnett was taken to a hospital but his condition is not know. Whitaker was booked into the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center at about 5:35 a.m. Tuesday.

He is the only Republican to qualify for this year’s Magoffin County judge-executive race. Two Democrats also have qualified.

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