Man charged in May stabbing death of his neighbor

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 | 5:40 p.m. CDT; updated 5:51 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 24, 2014

COLUMBIA — The 21-year-old neighbor of a man who was found stabbed to death outside his apartment in late May has been arrested and charged in connection with the killing.

Charles T. Key was arrested Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the slaying of Richard A. Bennett, 40, who lived in an apartment at 6183 W. Wilcott St. near Prathersville Road.

Around 9 p.m. May 28, Boone County Sheriff's Department deputies were called to the apartment building on West Wilcott Street after a neighbor reported a disturbance. Once there, deputies discovered Bennett with multiple stab wounds outside the door of his apartment, according to previous Missourian reporting. He died at University Hospital several hours later.

According to the probable cause statement in the case, three people heard Bennett say, "Tre stabbed me," at the scene.

That night, neighbors identified Key, who lives in Bennett's subdivision, as "Tre." According to the probable cause statement, he and Bennett were known to hang out together and, at times, argue.

When deputies approached the apartment at 1111 S. Elizabeth St., where Key lived, he introduced himself as "Tre." During this encounter with the deputies, Key was "exhibiting unusual behavior," said Detective Tom O'Sullivan of the Sheriff's Department. Because of this, he was taken to the Fulton State Hospital on May 29, one day after the stabbing.

Charges were filed against Key on Monday, and he was arrested Tuesday afternoon at the hospital. 

He is being held in Boone County Jail on a $1 million cash-only bond.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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