Kenan Gay Robert Kingston UNC football Law bar fight murder - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

$100K bond for law student, former UNC football player charged with murder

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Kenan Gay Kenan Gay

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Officials in Mecklenburg County confirmed Tuesday there's been a change in the charges and bond for a local law student.

Kenan Gay, 23, was originally charged with first-degree murder, and given no bond, after a deadly fight in front of Ed's Tavern on Park Road.

Gay is now facing second-degree murder charges, and is in jail under $100,000 bond. His lawyer wanted to get him out of jail sooner, but a judge denied that request.

Police said the Charlotte School of Law student and former college football player threw Robert Kingston III, 30,  in front of a moving car during that fight. Kingston was killed.

Gay's lawyer said both men were at Ed's Tavern when Kingston allegedly 'laid hands' on Gay's girlfriend.

"The fellow was putting his hands on my client's girlfriend," Gay's attorney Christopher Fialko said. "My client was trying to get her off of him. They were standing at the door. He threw him out the door and in an unlucky way it was right near the road."

The owner at Ed's Tavern says video cameras show Kingston leaned over and talked to a female. Gay then escorts Kingston out of the bar by his collar.

He says the men weren't stopped by employees because they appeared to be friends. But the owner says when they got outside, Gay's demeanor changed and he pushed Kingston into the street.

According to police, Kingston was hit by a driver of a BMW. Kingston died on scene.  

"He looked just as shocked as us," Ed's Tavern Alan Cole said. "He looked just as surprised - no satisfaction on his face."

Cole made a copy of the surveillance tape and gave it over to police.

The owner said after the accident, he grabbed Gay and told him not to go anywhere, but Gay ran away. The owner chased him, but couldn't catch him. Soon after, police caught Gay.

Gay was a walk-on wide receiver for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill football team and graduated in 2010, athletic officials say, but never played in a single game.

Since graduating, Gay began attending the Charlotte School of Law where he is a second year student and member of the student Senate.

At last check, officials at the Charlotte School of Law had not yet started the process to review Gay's standing at the Law school.

Officers say the driver of the BMW is not facing any charges. He immediately called 911 after hitting Kingston and told them what happened.

"There was a horrible tragedy [Saturday] night at Ed's Tavern," owner Alan Cole posted on the bar's Facebook page on Sunday. "We would like the next 24 hours spent with our Prayers focused on the victim and his family. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family."

Witnesses are asked to call homicide detectives at 704-432-TIPS or Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.

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