HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A weekend birthday celebration ended in murder in Hancock County. Witnesses tell investigators the suspect and the victim were drinking when they got into a violent argument that lead to the birthday girl's father going to jail and her aunt's common law husband dead.
"The people who did witness it were looking at something for them that was pretty horrific," Hancock County Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan said.
In the front yard of the Dryer's home that sits just off Highway 90 in Hancock County, family members watched two of their loved ones get into a deadly fight.
"We are talking about multiple wounds," Grannan said. "The repeated motion that it would take to stab someone that many times."
Clinten Dryer, 32, is charged with the murder of 29-year-old Kenneth Robert Joseph Fanning. According to the coroner, Fanning was stabbed more than 10 times in the head, neck and chest.
"He shouted out that he had been stabbed, according to witnesses," Grannan said.
When investigators arrived just before 1 a.m. Sunday, Grannan said Fanning was dead.
"It's very sad, because you really don't know at the time what the children may have seen, what they didn't see. Hopefully they didn't see anything," Grannan said. "But the end result is some of the children's father is dead and the rest of the children, their father is in jail and will likely stay there a while."
Investigators are told Fanning and his family were at the Dryer's house Saturday for a birthday party for Dryer's daughter. When Fanning was about to leave early Sunday morning, he and Dryer got into a fight.
"The defendant felt like the victim shouldn't drive home with his family. They lived in Slidell. He felt like, according to witnesses, that he didn't feel like he was capable of driving home," Grannan said. "Another gentleman that was there actually disabled the vehicle by removing some fuses and other parts of the car so that and when the victim discovered the vehicle was disabled, he got upset."
Investigators believe that is when Dryer and Fanning began arguing.
"At some point, the defendant retrieved a knife from the home, and then the physical violence started in the front yard with a couple of punches exchanged, and eventually the defendant allegedly stabbed the victim," Grannan said.
Deputies have recovered the hunting knife they believe was used to murder Fanning.
Investigators said Dyer was also injured in the fight. He was arrested, brought to the hospital and released Sunday evening with injuries to his knee and tibia. Grannan said Dryer will have to go back to the hospital after the swelling goes down to have surgery.
He hasn't said much to investigators about what happened early Sunday morning.
"He hasn't been uncooperative," Grannan said. "To some extent, he has spoken to us, but basically he has invoked his privilege, his Fifth Amendment privilege."
Dryer is expected to make an initial appearance before a judge sometime Tuesday. Until then, he is being held at the Hancock County Jail without bond for murder. Dryer is also facing a charge of contempt of court in Waveland.