A man accused his adopted son of embezzling from their suit store that was in bankruptcy. When the two met, the dad shot his son to death.
He now faces decades in prison.
Recently, a Tennessee jury found Billy Forte guilty of killing Charles Forte in April 2018. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentencing will be at a later date, according to The Chattanooga Times Free Press. Billy faces up to 40 years in prison.
The 71-year-old owned a formal wear store, where Charles worked, according to the Times Free Press. But the shop was in financial trouble and Billy accused Charles of embezzling money.
Billy said he was fearful of his son because of the younger’s drug dealing and changes after serving time in prison, the Times Free Press reported. Billy also argued that he was in fear of his son.
Billy went to the store in April 2018 and confronted his son. Billy claimed he believed that Charles had a gun.
His attorney, Ben McGowan, made note of those claims during his closing argument. He also spoke of how Billy tried to save his son after the shooting, according to the Times Free Press.
“I was not happy that I shot my son. I did everything I could for that boy,'" McGowan said using Billy’s words to describe the situation. "'I shot him because he was going to shoot me.'"
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During closing arguments, State Attorney Lee Ortwin said that the 71-year-old pointed a shotgun and shot him.
"You can use your common sense on this also; if you're afraid of me, will you come and visit me?" Ortwein said, and the Times Free Press reported.
The jury also heard Billy’s confession to police after the shooting. That is when the 71-year-old man expressed little remorse, according to The Chattanoogan. Instead, Billy talked about his time in the military.
“I killed in Vietnam,” Billy said in a video from the interview, and the Chattanoogan reported. “I killed Viet Cong, and I never felt liberated, but I feel liberated now.”
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