West Virginia man accused of killing neighbor over loud rooster

PRINCETON, W.Va. — A West Virginia man is accused of gouging out a neighbor’s eyes and killing him after an argument over a loud rooster, authorities said.

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Richard Wayne Ellison, 47, of Rock, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the slaying of Benny Foutch, 72, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Ellison told a detective he killed the rooster because it was crowing too loudly, and then gouged out Foutch’s eyes because “Lucifer made him do it.”

The Princeton Rescue Squad had been called to a residence on an unrelated complaint and found Foutch’s body on a porch outside his home, the newspaper reported. “Blood was coming out of his orbital sockets,” police wrote.

Detective-Corporal M.S. Horn said that while taking pictures around Foutch’s body, he noticed “a large number of feathers, which appeared to be from a chicken,” according to a criminal complaint.

According to Horn, Ellison’s son said his father had brought a dead rooster back to his property, the Daily Telegraph reported. When Horn interviewed Ellison and asked about Foutch, the detective said Ellison made “a hand motion of pressing his thumbs to his eyes,” the newspaper reported.

“He advised he went up there to kill the rooster because of a movie he had watched and because it was crowing," Horn said in the criminal complaint. "He later explained that he pressed his thumbs into Benny’s eyes, he advised that he stayed there until he knew Benny was dead. He made the statement that he killed him, referring to the incident with Benny. He made a reference that Lucifer made him do it. He kept asking me to shoot him, that he deserved it. He then talked about getting somebody in the jail to kill him.”

Ellison was arraigned by videoconference and bail was set at $200,000, the Daily Telegraph reported.

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