Man’s shooting death is Bibb’s first homicide of 2013

awomack@macon.comFebruary 11, 2013 

Kenneth Ardonis Tharpe followed 11 other inmates as he shuffled into a small courtroom Monday afternoon at the Bibb County jail.

It wasn’t his first time facing a judge. He was sent to prison on four separate occasions on drug charges between 1990 and 2007, records show.

Tharpe, 51, is charged with murder in the Sunday night shooting death of 60-year-old Kelvin Davis, Bibb County’s first homicide case of 2013.

If convicted on his latest charge, it’s possible Tharpe won’t live to be released again. Murder carries a minimum sentence of 30 years before an inmate can request parole.

At about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Davis knocked on the door of the house in east Bibb County’s Kings Park neighborhood where Tharpe, 50-year-old Sharon Fultz and their adult son live, said Bibb County sheriff’s investigator Chris Harrell.

Tharpe answered the door at 3442 Lancing Court, and Davis asked to talk with Fultz. After Fultz went to the door, Davis argued with her about why Tharpe answered the door, and he made threatening comments, Harrell said.

When Tharpe heard the argument, he went outside on the porch with a gun and fired two shots. Both struck Davis in the chest, the investigator said.

Davis, who lived on Seville Road in Dry Branch, was pronounced dead at about 12:30 a.m. Monday at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, said Leon Jones, Bibb County’s coroner.

Fultz has told deputies she had never been in a relationship with Davis and hadn’t seen him in about a year, Harrell said.

Women who were at the small, one-story house Wednesday afternoon declined comment.

“There’s definitely a history here,” Harrell said. “There’s some type of triangle here, but the only people who know that are Sharon Fultz, Mr. Davis who’s no longer with us, and Kenneth Tharpe who’s in jail.”

Davis didn’t have a weapon, and there wasn’t a physical altercation between the two men before the shooting, he said.

Harrell said Tharpe could have locked the door and called police since Davis never tried to go inside.

“If given the opportunity, we should always try to disengage and walk away,” he said.

Someone at the house did call 911 right after the shooting.

Davis’ brother, Henry Trawick, said his younger brother was raised in Macon and worked as a security guard at the Macon-Bibb Health Department for several years. Most recently he had worked as a driver who carried people to and from doctor’s appointments.

“Kelvin was a good person,” Trawick said. “He didn’t bother anybody.”

Trawick said he didn’t know much about his brother’s personal life or what might have happened at Kings Park.

Neighbors on Lancing Court said Tharpe, Fultz and their son kept to themselves and didn’t socialize with others on the street.

Tharpe, who also is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, appeared in court Monday without a lawyer.

He sat quietly as the magistrate explained his rights.

When it came his turn to address the judge, he waived his right to a commitment hearing -- a time when deputies would testify about why he was arrested.

Deputies ushered him from the courtroom and he headed back through locked gates to the cell where he’ll stay until a Superior Court judge considers his bond.

Telegraph writer Liz Fabian contributed to this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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