by: Mark Becker Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
It’s a story of two young men with promising futures who met in a Charlotte bar in March 2012, and now one is dead and the other, charged with murder, is set to go on trial Tuesday.
Kenan Gay played football at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was headed for law school.
Robert Kingston loved sports and was working as a sportswriter until their lives tragically intersected two years ago inside Ed’s Tavern, in Dilworth.
Witnesses told police that Gay had confronted Kingston because Kingston had been harassing his girlfriend.
The two began to fight, and the fight spilled out of the bar. Prosecutors will say that Gay pushed Kingston out into the street, into the path of an oncoming car.
Gay's defense attorneys suggest that Kingston was drunk and simply stumbled out into the road and that his death was a tragic accident.
SLIDESHOW: Scene of man killed at Ed's Tavern
“The defense is going to try and prove that he didn't do anything outrageous, reckless, that he was defending her,” said attorney Tony Scheer, who had been a prosecutor before leaving for private practice.
Scheer said the defense will likely focus on what happened inside the bar, hoping to show that Gay was simply defending his girlfriend from Kingston’s unwanted advances.
He said prosecutors will try to show that Gay went too far.
“The prosecution's got to get the jury to believe that whatever the defendant did is too much,” Scheer said.
Gay is charged with second-degree murder, and Scheer said prosecutors don’t have to prove that Gay intended to kill Kingston by pushing him into the road, only that he did and that it could have been deadly.
Jury selection is set to begin on Tuesday, and Scheer said it could last as long as a week.
March 20, 2012: Dramatic 911 calls from deadly Dilworth bar fight released
March 5, 2012: Bar owner describes fight that left one man dead to judge