(WMC-TV) - A Memphis man is facing murder charges after police say he beat an employee to death. The employer's family says he was just protecting his property.
Ernest McCoy runs an appliance repair business out of his home. He is charged with second degree murder after police say he beat an employee to death after firing him.
It was at McCoy's home on the 2400 block of Whitney Avenue where police found 52-year-old Rance "Earl" Goforth lying outside on the ground in critical condition.
According to an affidavit of complaint, McCoy told investigators he had just fired Goforth, his friend, after he did not show up for work.
Later that day when McCoy returned home, he said he saw Goforth running from the garage after Goforth tried to steal a torch, Freon bottle, and shop vacuum.
That is when authorities say McCoy chased Goforth down and punched and kicked him repeatedly.
"Things happen like this that ain't suppose to happen," said McCoy's brother, Raymond. "They got him in jail for trying to protect what he really worked hard for. Only thing I'm going to say is free my brother."
The Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office says Goforth died of blunt force trauma causing major internal injuries to his torso.
McCoy's bond is set at $500,000.