By Jamel Major and Janice Broach
MILLEDGEVILLE, TN (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South man is accused of beating his neighbor to death after a long-running property dispute that started as a war of words ended with a deadly beating.
Stanley Alexander stood before a McNairy County judge for the first time Monday, charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Investigators say Alexander beat his neighbor, Johnny Burkhead, to death after the two men got into a fight over a property line.
Deputies claim the scuffle broke out while Burkhead was trying to clear some tree limbs out of a ditch near Alexander's property.
Family members believe Alexander hit Burkhead in the head repeatedly with a metal stake.
Amy Pruit, Burkhead's daughter, says his grandson, 8, saw the whole thing.
"My mother said that the doctor told her that they know of at least 9 blows that he was taken to his head," said Pruit.
Neighbors, like David Weatherford, said the two men feuded over the years.
"I've worked with one of them in the past and I've been around the other one for years," Weatherford said. "I've never had a problem with either of them."
Investigators sent Burkhead's body to Memphis for an autopsy.
Alexander is being held on $75,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court again on May 6.