St. Clair District Judge Phillip Seay ruled on Tuesday that there was enough evidence to take before a grand jury in the case of a Pell City man who is accused of shooting his father to death.

At the preliminary trial a St. Clair sheriff’s investigator gave testimony that Robert Allen Carleton, 47, of 4538 Wolf Creek Road South admitted to shooting Bill Carleton, 67, with a Mossberg shotgun after Bill Carleton threatened him verbally and was reaching for a loaded .22 caliber rifle when Bob Carleton fired the single, fatal gunshot.

St. Clair Sheriff’s investigator Billy Murray testified that on March 23 Bob Carleton told him that he shot his father after he tried to run him over with his Kubota ATV.

Evidence at the hearing showed that a camera belonging to Bob Carleton was recovered at the scene that had photos of what appeared to be Bill Carleton driving the ATV in the direction of Bob Carleton.

In addition to the shotgun, the .22 caliber rifle and Bob Carleton’s camera, a loaded .40 caliber Glock handgun found wrapped in a blue handkerchief was found in the ATV as well as a camera belonging to Bill Carleton.

Investigator Murray said that he found documents showing that the father and son had been in dispute over the land for some time and each had been advised on trespassing laws. Murray stated that he believed that to be the reason that the two men were carrying cameras at the scene.

Murray also said that Bob Carleton told him that his father said twice at the scene on March 23 that he was going to kill him.

Murray testified that Bob Carleton said that after being threatened by his father that he moved to the rear of his truck to avoid being run over.

After the shooting, Bob Carleton placed the shotgun on the road at the entrance of the property as directed by a 9-11 operator whom he called after the incident.

Investigator Murray also said that a witness told investigators after the shooting that he was riding down Wolf Creek Road in the passenger seat of his boss’s truck and that he saw two men “having words” at the spot the shooting took place.

After the hearing, Bob Carleton’s lawyer, Erskine Funderburg released a statement to the press that read: “Today, many of the true facts surrounding this shooting were released to the public. Hopefully many of the lies and rumors about what happened on that date will now stop… On the day in question [Bill Carleton] attempted to run Bob Carleton over with a Kubota crashing into his truck, he had two guns, he threatened to kill Bob and was apparently reaching for a gun and had it half way out of the gun rack at the time of the shooting. All this shows the horrible position in which my client was placed on that fateful day. Bob Carleton was a man forced into the awful position to protect himself and that is what he did.”

The statement from Bob Carleton’s attorney further read “Bob has co-operated fully with the authorities and complied with all restrictions placed upon him in his release on bond. We look forward to the day that Bob and his family can resume their place in our community as normal productive citizens.”

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