Police: Murder suspect comforted kids after shooting

The man accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend as they slept Sunday comforted the woman’s children, telling them everything was OK after they awoke to loud noises, according to court records.

Kenneth Stokes, 42, whose residence of record is on Houston Avenue, is accused in the shooting deaths of 27-year-old Melody Marie Benoit and her boyfriend, 34-year-old Kelvin Prater, who were found with multiple gunshot wounds in her home at 2463 Vivian Drive early Sunday.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said Benoit and Prater were each shot twice — Benoit in the head and neck and Prater in the head and chest.

Stokes, who fathered a child with Benoit, was booked into the Bibb County jail on felony murder charges at about 8 p.m. Wednesday after being arrested Sunday afternoon in southeast Alabama.

He is being held at the Bibb County jail without bond, according to jail records.

Benoit and Prater were shot between 11:03 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday, according to Stokes’ arrest warrant, released Thursday.

Macon police have said one of the woman’s three children discovered the bodies and called 911 shortly before 10 a.m.

One of the children told police that he heard loud noises and Stokes came in with a flashlight.

He told the children that “everything was OK” and to go back to sleep, according to the warrant.

Police say Stokes is the father of the youngest of Benoit’s three children, who neighbors said are between the ages of 5 and 9, but all three refer to him as “Daddy,” according to the warrant.

Stokes called Benoit “numerous” times Saturday while she talked with a friend, according to the warrant.

A witness told police Benoit and Stokes had a verbal argument Saturday, according to the warrant.

Information from The Telegraph archives was included in this report. Telegraph staff writer Liz Fabian contributed to this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.