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KC man is accused of killing friend

Updated: 2013-03-06T16:54:14Z

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

Jackson County prosecutors on Tuesday accused a 53-year-old man of killing a friend in a drunken dispute at the suspect’s house early Monday.

Prosecutors charged Larry Clay with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Joel M. White, 44, who was killed about 3:30 a.m. Monday in the 9200 block of Eastern Avenue.

Clay remained in jail Tuesday in lieu of a $250,000 bond.

Clay told police White lunged at him, prompting him to shoot White. But witnesses and a videotape of the shooting contradicted Clay’s account, according to court records. Police did not reveal how they obtained the videotape.

Clay and three friends started playing pool and drinking alcohol about 10 p.m. Sunday, police said. They continued drinking and hanging out until about 3:30 a.m., when Clay and White got into an argument.

It was unclear what prompted the argument, police said, but witnesses said Clay instigated it.

Clay and White fought inside the home and another friend tried to intervene but got cut by Clay, who allegedly had pulled a knife.

Clay told police he got a gun, loaded it and ordered everyone to leave his home. After the friends filed out, Clay followed and allegedly hit White with the gun twice. Clay “continued to confront White” and then shot him, according to court records.

White collapsed in the driveway.

Clay called 911. He worked as a funeral escort driver.

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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