Crime

Man beaten to death in Tacoma apartment over child pornography accusation is identified

Man charged in fatal fight over child pornography

Benjamin Carroll Carter appeared in Pierce County Superior Court on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, where he was charged with second-degree murder for killing another man who he said wrongly accused him of looking at child pornography.
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Benjamin Carroll Carter appeared in Pierce County Superior Court on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, where he was charged with second-degree murder for killing another man who he said wrongly accused him of looking at child pornography.

A man beaten to death after a fight inside a Tacoma apartment has been identified as 40-year-old William Harris.

Harris, who was homeless, was visiting the apartment of Benjamin Carroll Carter early Tuesday when he allegedly accused Carter of browsing child pornography.

The two men argued loudly, drawing the attention of others in the building.

Carter stomped and kicked Harris’ head and chest, choked him with his own jacket and lunged at a witness in the hallway who came to see what the ruckus was, according to charging papers.

The witness pepper-sprayed Carter.

Officers were called about 1 a.m. to the scene in the 300 block of South Ninth Street and found Carter covered in blood and the apartment door off the hinges.

He was standing over Harris and screaming things that didn’t make sense, records say.

Harris was not breathing when police started CPR. He was pronounced dead after being taken to St. Joseph Medical Center.

Carter allegedly told one of the witnesses that he was looking at pornography, but not of children.

On Tuesday, Carter pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and was ordered held on $1 million bail.

His other run-in with the law included a 2016 assault on a public bus, for which he received a suspended sentence and was ordered to get mental health treatment.

“It appears from records that the defendant was in compliance with the caveat that he does well so long as he is taking his medications,” court documents related to the homicide case say.

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