Karaoke night turned deadly at a Helen bar early Thursday morning, where a man was stabbed to death in the town’s first murder in years.
Darren Keith Ramey, 24, of Cleveland, died from a stab wound to the chest following a fight shortly after midnight at the Southside Bar and Grill on Main Street, Helen Police Chief Ted Ray said.
Samuel Abernathy, 39, and John Paul Geren, 52, both of Cleveland, were charged with murder and aggravated assault today, Ray said. They are being held in the White County jail.Ray said police were called to the bar at 12:24 a.m., where they found Ramey on the ground outside. Witnesses identified Abernathy and Geren, who had left before police arrived, as the assailants, Ray said. A White County deputy pulled over Geren’s pick-up truck about 12 miles from the scene and took the two men into custody, Ray said.
Ray would not say whether a knife had been recovered.
Police are still trying to determine what the fight was about. Ray said he believes that more than three people were involved. He believes there was only one knife and no guns in the fight.
The bar was busy on karaoke night, and police interviewed "numerous witnesses," Ray said.
It was the first homicide in White County in four or five years, coroner Ricky Barrett said. Ray said it had been at least five or six years since Helen had seen a death from anything other than natural causes.
"It has been a while," Ray said.