More on the tragic story of Rev. David Strong, the prominent Chattanooga pastor who was tortured and killed last week. Police have arrested a 25-year-old man with a history of mental problems and his 16-year-old cousin. Detectives believe Strong refused to reveal the PIN for his debit card during a routine robbery. Chattanooga Police Department detectives also tell the media the reverend was possibly "gay" and there could have been "motivating factors."
The Rev. David Strong’s killer stabbed his torso 18 times and lacerated his head four times during a violent homicide last week, according to a medical examiner’s report released Wednesday. ... Diagrams show his neck was punctured seven times. Police say Antonio Henry, 25, and his 16-year-old cousin, Brendan Barnes, used a vase, a stick and a knife to beat Strong’s head and stab his throat. Lt. Kirk Eidson, head of the Chattanooga Police Department’s major crimes division, said dozens of superficial stab wounds indicate a long struggle.
Two days ago, Lt. Kirk Eidson told reporters, "The possibility existed that Rev. Strong was gay. We’re exploring that. We are currently investigating as to any type of motivating factor of that nature. ... Even if that would be the case, they planned a robbery, and they still killed him."
Police have not released any more details on Strong's sexuality or the "motivating factors" ...
Antonio Henry was an "acquainatance" of the slain pastor and Strong was "mentoring" him, members of St. Paul AME Church tell The Chattanoogan. Henry and Barnes each are charged with felony murder and aggravated robbery. Henry remains behind bars on $350,000 bond. Authorities soon will determine whether to try Barnes as an adult.
Rev. David Strong had pastored the St. Paul AME Church for a decade and had a long history in Tennessee and Kentucky with the AME Church. The 2.5 million-member African Methodist Episcopal Church is the world's oldest and largest predominately Black denomination. The AME Church has opposed openly gay clergy, same sex unions and marriage equality.