published Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Henry: 'I snapped' after Strong asked for sex act


by Chris Carroll
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Antonio Henry - Clip 1

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Antonio Henry - Clip 2

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Antonio Henry - Clip 3

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Antonio Henry - Clip 4

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Antonio Henry - Clip 5

Antonio Henry admitted during jailhouse interviews that he attacked a local pastor with a stick, but only after he claims the minister repeatedly pressed him to perform a sex act for $100.

The Rev. David Strong was left bound and bleeding on the floor of the pastor's home, Henry admitted, but he said Strong was alive. The autopsy shows Strong also suffered a multitude of stab wounds.

"I swear, when we left, when I stepped over that man, the man was breathing; he was praying," Henry said. "I really don't see how he died. I don't appreciate them labeling me as no killer, man. I ain't pleading guilty to that."

Henry, 25, of Chattanooga, is due in court Monday to face charges of felony murder and especially aggravated robbery.

Chattanooga Police Department investigators say Henry and his 16-year-old cousin, Brendan Barnes, intended to rob Strong, the pastor of St. Paul AME Church, and tortured him with a stick and a knife when he would not hand over his bank card's personal identification number.

Police say the cousins also hit Strong with a vase and cut his throat.

Yawning, stuttering and biting his nails to the quick, Henry granted exclusive interviews Friday and Saturday to the Chattanooga Times Free Press and continually disputed the police account of Strong's killing.

The red jail jumpsuit Henry wears at the Hamilton County Jail indicates he is a "high-risk" inmate. During the interviews, his dreadlocks bounced while he spoke and his expression shifted from empty stares into nowhere to animated outbursts.

"We did not demand no money," he said. "This stuff happened because this man would not listen up and let us up out that house."

Henry said Strong refused to let him and Barnes leave his house at 404 Glenwood Drive until they gave in to his sexual demands.

"I'm sorry he's, you know, gone and stuff like that, but he's a disgrace to his church," Henry said.

Officials with the Chattanooga Police Department did not return calls seeking comment. But Lt. Kirk Eidson said last week that police are exploring whether Strong's sexual preference was a motivating factor in the crime.

"The possibility existed that Reverend Strong was gay," Eidson said.

However, the pastor's youngest sister, Terri Strong, rejected that speculation.

"He is not gay," she said, adding that her brother's Facebook page lists him as single and interested in women.

Asked at a memorial for the pastor last week, his nephew, Andre Strong, said he had never heard any rumors that his uncle was gay.

***

During Friday's interview, Henry acknowledged that he has used cocaine and has an extensive criminal history -- records show 11 guilty pleas since he turned 18 in 2003. He also said he tried suicide twice and has a history of depression and of hearing voices, a symptom of schizophrenia.

Social Security Administration records from 2005 show Henry suffers from depression, mood disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, emotional disorder and personality disorder.

Still, he said, "You got to do something to me to push me to the edge."

Henry said Strong called and invited him and Barnes to hang out and clean the pastor's house on Oct. 5. He said he'd met Strong twice before and suspected the pastor was gay but went to Strong's house with his cousin to "get away."

"He was going to pay us to help clean his house," Henry said. "Little change in your pocket ... [but] we didn't even get started."

He said Strong, dressed in a robe and briefs, showed them into the bedroom and offered Henry the remote control, telling him to find a scary movie on television. He claimed the pastor also provided pizza and marijuana. Sitting on the pastor's bed, after all three smoked a "blunt" -- a marijuana cigar that Henry said he rolled -- the pastor wanted Henry to expose himself and masturbate, Henry claimed.

"I do not get down like that," Henry said he told Strong.

The pastor changed the subject before offering $100 for the same sex act three more times, Henry said.

"That's when I snapped."

***

Henry said he picked up a walking stick resting near the side of the bed and struck Strong's head and leg as his cousin ran to the kitchen to get a knife.

A report from the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's Office showed 18 stab wounds on the right side of Strong's torso, dozens of lacerations and evidence of blunt force trauma.

"I ain't gonna lie that I hit him with the stick, man, because me and my cousin's life was in danger," Henry said.

Henry said the house had deadbolt locks that could be opened from the inside only with a key. Strong wasn't offering a key "until he got what he wanted," Henry said, so "in case that man reached for a gun or anything," he tied the pastor's wrists with part of a shirt they found in the house.

Police also found the pastor's ankles bound, but Henry said he doesn't know what Barnes used to tie the pastor's ankles.

During the struggle, Henry said Strong offered his debit card PIN and "anything we wanted, but it wasn't about money."

"We did not demand nothing," Henry said. But he admitted they stole the pastor's car, saying it was too far for them to walk from the pastor's Glenwood house to Brainerd, where they were staying.

Using the pastor's debit card, the cousins withdrew about $200 from an automated teller machine.

Five days later, police discovered Henry driving the pastor's PT Cruiser. Hours after that, they found Strong dead in his own hallway.

But Henry said the pastor "shouldn't have died."

Strong's death prompted communitywide sorrow and several public outpourings of grief last week.

Hundreds of people mourned him in a packed church service Friday night. The crowd was so large, some people had to watch from a television in the church's fellowship hall. Mourners remembered Strong as a generous man of God who put others before himself.

"He was strong, like his name said, but also he was humble," said St. Paul member William Rob Green. "As my mentor, he was able to see things in me that I didn't see in myself."

Those who knew Strong described him as helpful and humorous.

Kenny "Super T" Simpson, who worked with Strong in a mentoring program, said the pastor would reach into his pocket to give money to homeless people.

***

Henry denied that he had had a prior sexual relationship with Strong, calling any suggestion "out of the question."

"I'm not gay, man," he said. "You can call all my girlfriends. ... Really, I don't care because I know and my females know."

Henry said he dropped out of Howard School for Academics and Technology in 10th grade and joined the Vice Lords gang when he was about 16, but the gang now is in his past. He's never seen or spoken to his father, who lives in Atlanta.

"Maybe if he would have been in my life, man, I probably wouldn't be in this predicament," he said.

Because he didn't wake up early enough, he failed the jail's inspection Friday, so Henry said he can't use the phone or shower until his Monday morning court hearing.

While in jail, Henry bumped into another inmate who turned out to be an old friend. The pair used to run track together at the East Chattanooga Recreation Center, Henry said, and he spent part of Friday reminiscing with the man about winning medals at Hardy Elementary and Orchard Knob Middle schools.

"Them was the fun days back then, man," he said. "That's when I wasn't getting into no trouble. Running track, going to school, man."

Staff writer Yolanda Putman contributed to this story.

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

The old Matthew Shepard defense. "He came on to me and I went into a homicidal rage." In the end the killers of Shepard admitted that they had lied. I hope everyone who sees and hears this coming from this defendant will see it for what it is: manipulation of prejudice. For the police to say that they are interested in whether Rev. Strong was gay or not shows that they too are shallow and easily led. Who cares? What does it matter? The man was stabbed 18 times. These two helpless young men had to brutally kill a man to escape his evil clutches? Sickening. To kill a man and then seek to destroy his reputation is beyond the pale. Let's hope they can find a life sentence without parole that will allow them to come to terms with themselves and their abhorrent behavior. Day after day after day after day for the rest of their lives to consider what they have done would be the most punishing sentence they could receive.

October 17, 2010 at 6:35 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Henry blames everyone but himself. The guy is a pathological liar with no morals whatsoever. Those two thugs already told the police they went to rob him. And they did. They stole his valuables, money and car without any remorse. Henry drove around town like the car was his own. Good grief, he even showed up at his mama's house with it. Didn't even try to hide or get out of town because he is absolutely amoral.

Now he is blaming the victim. Henry has a long rap sheet with armed robbery being one of felonies on it. He should have been sitting in the pen not roaming the streets wreaking havoc on our community. He blames Rev. Strong, his absent father, and the other criminal, Barnes, for what went wrong. There is one common denominator in these stories and it is Henry.

One real clear example of Henry's lying is when he talked of the struggle, then said "he shouldn't have died". Medical Examiner's report shows 4 stab wounds to the head, 18 to the torso and a slit throat. Unbelievable.

Sad the Times Free Press gave this creep front page to put out his lies and distortions. Truly sad.

October 17, 2010 at 7:47 a.m.
rolando said...

It's news, sandy. This way the killers' depravity is given the full light of day.

But what if he was right? We deserve to know that, too. Hiding one side of a story, no matter how far-fetched, is not a good thing, justice-wise.

October 17, 2010 at 8:04 a.m.
GreenKepi said...

Agreement is with 'sandyonsignal'...why the heck is this story even in the paper...let alone front page news?!

October 17, 2010 at 8:05 a.m.
cartman said...

What page would you put it on?

October 17, 2010 at 8:11 a.m.
dave said...

I would have put it in the toilette where it belongs. This thug is just trying to defame the victim to save his sorry butt.

October 17, 2010 at 9 a.m.
Concerned22 said...

Plastering this across the front page of the Sunday paper shows some serious judgment flaws within the Time Free Press.

I may just cancel my subscription.

October 17, 2010 at 9:35 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Light of day, Rolando? All that will come out at trial. For instance, what time did they come by Strong's house? My guess is they showed up late at night because he was in a robe and he didn't seem to be the type who roam in daylight. I don't know though, because it isn't on the audio nor did Carroll ask this question. There is no time line.
The audio starts off with Henry telling of a rough child life. Oh, puleez... the pity party starts there in audio 1 and continues through out all the tapes. In the end, he blames Strong for not giving him the keys. Its everyone else's fault but his. As he states " I just wanted to get home.. he just needed to give up the keys." Wonder if he went home after that? Probably not. He would have been soaked in blood. So where did he go? Another lie told.

October 17, 2010 at 9:47 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Oops, should have said Strong was in a robe and Henry didn't seem the type to roam in daylight.

Interesting Henry sure is talking to the press. Henry is a 25 year old felon with a long rap sheet. Hearsay should not be printed. We have no way to question him and the Times Free Press did not follow up with those type of questions.

October 17, 2010 at 9:57 a.m.
twilliams said...

This is such a hot mess. This lying bastard is the effin "retard" he displays. This makes no sense what so ever. I understand the newspaper wants to sell papers but anyone can see that this ish is so fabricated that its a shame. So you are telling me that in order to get "out" of the house you have to use a key. Hmmmmmm....dont make sense because how would he gain entrance back into the house when he left and came back home. I've never heard of a "two-way" lock. Then this sick twisted muther-fu#@! says that he shouldn't have died.....no he shouldn't have his aazz should have when he tried to catch hisself on fire...hell I got a match if you are still interested....He is a pathetic low-life. Anyone reading this story can see right through it...this punk-azz thug is borrowing his lie from the Eddie Long scandal to make Rev. Strong seem dark and twisted and deserved this by facilitating him.....People of Chattanooga please do not fall for the okey doke.He is what he is..... a no good, should have been aborted at conception, illiterate, callus, pathological lying, MURDERER!!!!!!

October 17, 2010 at 9:58 a.m.
twilliams said...

Just listened to the audio and just as I thought if you listen carefully he is making this ish up as he goes.... He starts of telling the reporter that he had a rough childhood and that they took he and his siblings away from his mother (which I am NOT surprised this trick was only interested in the "crazy" check, welfare and foodstamps instead of raising kids they were her income)but doesn't want it in the paper. You want to leave so bad but you take his car for days and spend his money? If you tied him up then you had him where you could not be hindered from leaving the house...You sic bastard...its one thing that you did this and now you want to say that "YOU" are upset that people are calling you a "murderer" ahhhh hello? YOU ARE!!! Mr. Henry is a effin waste of life...again to his mother...you are also to blame for all of this. Chattanooga I really hope you all have a good prosecutor that will see through all this bull&#^% and get this killer the needle or the chair but that's too good for him...I say an eye for an eye...let him and his dumb azz cousin get the sentence in the same way they did the pastor.

October 17, 2010 at 10:22 a.m.
altavista said...

It's a story with the fulfilled intent of getting an accused murderer's side of things. The paper landed a major interview on a story that no one else got. Good work by the TFP and Carroll.

Henry seems to think his actions were justifed, which should chill everyone to the bone. Nothing - not even repeated, unwanted sexual advances - should drive someone to do what was done to Pastor Strong.

October 17, 2010 at 10:27 a.m.
Concerned22 said...

Altavista, placing this headline in the Sunday paper creates a smear to the pastors reputation. This thug is obviously trying to find excuses, no matter how absurd.

The story belongs in the paper. Chris did a fine job exposing the disturbed killers point of view. But it does not belong plastered across the front of the Sunday paper.

October 17, 2010 at 10:37 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

My feelings are still too raw to deal with these kinds of headlines. I am still angry over the way Rev. Strong was murdered. No one should have to die like that. A long and tortuous ordeal. WRCB had up for headlines, "Police: Pastor's Murder Worst in Recent History".

Times Free Press's headline is gay baiting. Somehow this headline implies he deserved it "Henry: 'I snapped' after Strong asked for sex act" . Consider the source. Henry acts as a hapless victim and plays the gay baiting card too. He even implies Strong was a pedophile out to get him. Well, Henry is 25 years old with plenty of time spent in the POKEY. He is no innocent child. From domestic violence to armed robbery, his past represents the monster and liar he is today.
The victim in this case was brutally murdered by a savage. A savage, who now is able to revise history and portray himself as the victim. It is disturbing to see this as the headlines for the paper. How many other felons are you going to solicit for interviews? Will we constantly be subjected to hearing the criminals side of the case? Maybe all of them can make up stories and TFP will print it.

October 17, 2010 at 11:20 a.m.
twilliams said...

This story was paid for....they probably put money on his books to get an exclusive because this is garbage....and from day one Mrs. Strong has been preaching to everyone to forgive these two but its hard when you wake up on the eve of his funeral and read this. He was not a shame to his church because he was a good pastor who loved his members. All I can say is that he seems to be the best witness for the prosecution because the story does not add up and what fool who is accused of murder gives an interview withOUT an attorney...he is not only vicious but dumb as hell.

October 17, 2010 at 11:46 a.m.
concernedvoice said...

I'm in agreement with sandyonsignal's statement on "gay baiting". While shopping this morning at Wal-Mart I can across TFP, saw the front page, and literally became immobile and emotionally filled with total dismay and anger.

I already assumed, from the careless comment from Edison last week about the questioning of Pastor Strong's sexual preference as well as the current situation with Bishop Long in Atlanta, GA, that someone would be so dumb witted to spiral down this path of character slander. WHATEVER his sexual preference WAS, WE shouldn't try to project any form of opinion or judgment without hearing from his side which is now impossible since he is dead!!!!!!

TFP, I HIGHLY suggest that you DO NOT continue to indirectly distort the true angle of this tragedy which I believe should be fixed on increased community violence, lack of parental/community guidance and support for at risk youths and a deficient amount of law enforcement in high crime areas within our community.

If you continue sensationalizing this for a way to boost your financial foundation and/or seek ways to increase your "brand" to a national platform for viewers and potential sponsors, WE, IN THIS COMMUNITY (especially persons of color and minority descent) will respond in kind.

This process can be achieved by boycotting your "brand", your existing and potential advertisers/sponsors, sharing our dismay to other local and national communities and media forums, etc.

Though I believe and appreciate that you are "trying" to give voice to all sides of this tragedy, this particular storyline did not deserve the front page of your publication.

Mrs. Strong asked us all to begin the process of forgiving this misguided souls. I now believe we will have to add TFP to the fold.

October 17, 2010 at 2:20 p.m.
concernedvoice said...

I apologize for my poor typing but I'm incensed over this story and its slant. The story in my view indirectly leads "folks" to believe that due to a presumed sexual orientation it was OK to kill an innocent soul.

Henry and his cousin will get their day in court here on earth and one day in Heaven or Hell...

October 17, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.
yeroc said...

This is just sad/..... But God is a God of forgiveness.... Henry can be forgiven...

October 17, 2010 at 4:22 p.m.
rolando said...

sandy - I neither nor agree with this killer's story either.

But you know we, the public, try people on these forums long before their court trial. These kinds of things go viral nationwide and everybody and his brother weighs in here with a badly-informed or pre-decided opinion.

Before people go nuts over something, they should at least listen to "The rest of the story" [a nod to Paul Harvey] before going off the deep end. They certainly don't have to agree, but they should at least try to keep an open mind until the info is in.

October 17, 2010 at 4:54 p.m.
rolando said...

Of course the nature of the pastor's sexuality is pertinent, unless it is just speculation and not substantive.

Catholic priests accused of molesting young children make news -- so what makes a Protestant pastor immune to the same treatment? Is Strong somehow different?

What if the 16 year old boy turns out to be one of Strong's earlier victims? And his outraged mentor accosts the boy's tormentor and loses it in anger as he said?

All that is just speculation, but it is certainly a case for keeping a open mind until investigation is completed.

October 17, 2010 at 5:12 p.m.
ctfpfan08 said...

LOL! You all crack me up. Can you over analyze anything more? The paper put this on the Sunday front page to smear the pastor's name? Seriously? And above all, NONE of you were there so how in the world do YOU know what the truth is? Only 3 people really know. Have you not yet learned that even 'religious' people aren't always the saints you believe they are supposed to be? Why do you insist in living a state of ignorant bliss? I can't believe I'm agreeing with rolando for the first time ever but he's right. This is part of the story whether you want to hear it or not. Both sides have to be told. Chris did an excellent job and you all are just crapping all over his effort to be fair and balanced. You've already condemned these young men and they haven't even gotten their day in court. Go ahead and repeat again how they "confessed" to whatever they apparently "said" to cops but AGAIN, you weren't there so you don't really know. They could've been coerced into saying things. It happens EVERY day in your God blessed America! Stop begging the paper to censor themselves and others. It's one of your favorite Rights and you sure do like to exercise it, don't you? Unless it's something you don't want to hear or something you don't agree with. Get a grip.

October 17, 2010 at 5:13 p.m.
rolando said...

sandy -- that prior should read, "I do not agree..."

October 17, 2010 at 5:13 p.m.
rolando said...

So we DO have a common ground, ctfpfan. I always suspected it...

Good post, by the way.

October 17, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.
EaTn said...

Take a long look at the photo of this dude: That innocent and well groomed look-- he's just the type that any proud father would love to have his daughter bring home to meet the folks.

October 17, 2010 at 5:45 p.m.
mella_yella said...

If any part of Henry's story is true, it needs to be exposed. If untrue, a man who can't speak for himself reputation has been dragged through the mud. However, people need to remember that when you take away the title priest, cops, teachers, lawyers, judges etc. are like the rest of humanity. Cut from that same dysfunctional cloth that create the criminal, and therefore we all need to stop placing these individuals so high on the fruit and vegetable chart that we can't believe they would do such a thing. I remember a teacher, now deceased, who use to do the very same thing this minister is accused of doing. That is take young boys looking for that fatherly figure under his wing, pretending to mentor them. Take them to his house, ply them with liquor and drugs and molest them instead. It happens.

October 17, 2010 at 5:56 p.m.
mella_yella said...

"Take a long look at the photo of this dude: That innocent and well groomed look-- he's just the type that any proud father would love to have his daughter bring home to meet the folks." Username: EaTn

How Henry looks has nothing to do with it. There are clean cut, suit sporting types who turned out to be serial killers, serial rapists and mass murderers. His appearance has no bearings to the the crime.

October 17, 2010 at 6:10 p.m.
Allison12 said...

Rolando, is right on target on this one.

October 17, 2010 at 6:15 p.m.
karo55 said...

What a cruel thing to do to Pastor Strong's family! This article did not belong on the front page of the SUNDAY paper. Criminals know EXACTLY how to manipulate the media..

October 17, 2010 at 6:21 p.m.
hambone said...

Do you think he'll "just snap" when he gets nailed by Bubba in the joint!!

October 17, 2010 at 7:01 p.m.
ChattFan said...

Thank you Mr. Carroll and TFP for having the balls to think outside the box and publish this story. Most of you probably won't publicly agree with this, but when something as awful as this happens you know you can't help but wonder what that person was thinking and why they did it. Carroll did something that took a lot guts and courage by going to this prisoner and interviewing him. I don't know about you, but I would be terrified of being face-to-face with an accused murderer.

Considering Henry's lack of education and that he has admitted guilty to his other crimes, I think there might be some truth in his story. Seems to be too intricate for him to fabricate. Also, I find it odd that the Police Dept. did not return phone calls for comments. Just because someone's sexual orientation is not what you agree with, does not in anyway justify murder. I am not saying that at all. If someone were trying to get something out of me sexually, then it would probably set me off and I would get defensive. Even with that said, I in no way agree with the murder of Rev. Strong.

I don't know if what Henry said is true or not. I don't know about Rev. Strong's sexual orientation. Those getting angry about the TFP and Carroll publishing the accusations should be angry at the Police for having it in their report. It would have been published someway or another. TFP and Carroll are just doing their jobs. I'm glad to see Henry's side of the story. And I think it was balanced with comments from Rev. Strong's family. It's sad we don't get to hear his side, but at least one side is being heard versus none. You don't have to agree with or believe it, but at least you heard it.

Great job, Mr. Carroll. Keep thinking outside the box. And good for you and the TFP for having the guts to print it.

October 17, 2010 at 7:22 p.m.
raspus said...

Let’s start thinking and put our prejudices behind us. Now we know that the pastor did many good works in the community and was well liked. Now many of us are just listening to one side of this story and closing our ears to what Henry has to say. But what if Henry is telling the truth? What if this thing went down as Henry said, and what if the police check Rev. Strong’s bank account and find that $200 was drawn from it at the time near his death? This would put a different spin on the murder. What does Henry have to gain by lying? He’s going to jail either was it goes. I choose to believe the robbery version rather than the gay sex act version but, it’ll all come out in the wash. Let’s pray that justice will be served

October 17, 2010 at 7:41 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Glad to hear you are so enamored with Carroll and the TFP, Chatt Fan. As for me, I have been a subscriber to the Times and TFP for about 20 years. Listening to low life felons trash their victims, isn't worth my money or time. I love to read the news, but I don't purchase the Enquirer, Globe or smutty publications. It isn't worth it, and if one considers the source of the story, it isn't true in the first place.

In the morning, I am calling 757-6262 and canceling my subscription. This publication no longer meets my standards. This reporting and disparaging of the dead, plus gay baiting, is nothing I want to read ever again.

October 17, 2010 at 8:07 p.m.
altavista said...

Somehow, I don't see the TFP panicking over your phone call, Sandy.

Those of us who would rather read all sides of the story will keep our subscriptions.

October 17, 2010 at 8:25 p.m.
xyzyra said...

I for one am glad the media is beginning to look at all sides of the story rather than running with what the police relay to them. Whenever I read a story about crime from only what side, I've always found myself asking, "Now, what's the whole story? Something is missing here!" One of the patterns I began to notice is that most of the crimes that seem to have taken place here in Chattanooga there's some kind of relationship between the victim and the accused. I feel for the Strong family, his church parishoners, friends and all, but if there's any truth to this his family and everyone should be willing to accept it. Forget being embarrassed or shame. If the preacher was misleading his flock, standing at the pulpit preaching one thing and doing another then, in the eyes of God and man, he was wrong. He may have fooled man, but God always knew. I agree with the poster who said people should stop placing man on such a high pedastal that we tend to forget they are human; flesh, skin, bone like the rest of us with the same human flaws and failings as all of us.

October 17, 2010 at 9:26 p.m.
Pizzaguy said...

Isn't it interesting that the first time Rev. Strong is accused of being a homosexual predator, is comes from the "suspect" that murdered him in his home?

If Strong had this kind of a problem, it would have been out long before this happened.

Really sounds like this guy making an excuse for his actions. He has a long list of people to blame, but not himself.

October 17, 2010 at 9:59 p.m.
wstvall1 said...

They don't want my opinion on how to get rid of him because he would be dead and gone before he would have hit the cell block....All we can do is pray for those who hurt us and pray justice will be brought upon them for the rest of their young lives...stupidity is always in the mist when it comes to criminals...u didnt want the money but u took the car for a ride back to brainerd which is on the other side of the ridge which his house is right by....God have mercy on their souls but their flesh will rot in hell forever.

October 17, 2010 at 10:22 p.m.
mkelley said...

So xyzyra, if the reverend did come on to the guy, is that an excuse to torture the guy before he murdered him? I'd hope not.

October 17, 2010 at 10:42 p.m.
Nickajacknickie said...

I think this story will have Adolph Ochs and Roy McDonald turning over in their Graves in shame to what their newspapers have sunk too.

October 17, 2010 at 11:56 p.m.
crobert said...

[Isn't it interesting that the first time Rev. Strong is accused of being a homosexual predator, is comes from the "suspect" that murdered him in his home? If Strong had this kind of a problem, it would have been out long before this happened. Really sounds like this guy making an excuse for his actions. He has a long list of people to blame, but not himself.]

Wrong! This has been rumored for quite some time. In fact, I’ve been hearing this for over 30 years. I can’t say that the rumors were fact but, it was out there. I’m not taking up for this man, I think that he should receive the worst punishment the state can offer up to an including a horrible death. But the gay rumors were out long before the crime took place.

October 18, 2010 at 1:55 a.m.
Sapphiah said...

Let's just say the murderer is telling the truth some what. Okay, he and his cousin hitch a ride to Pastor Strong's house. (He failed to mention what time.) He believed that Rev Strong might be gay, but Pastor Strong had not mustered the courage to approach him. The murderer takes his minor cousin along for "protection". Once Pastor Strong made the fatal mistake of propositioning the murderer, the murderer snapped. Surely he bound the Pastor's hands and feet before he beat, tortured and killed him. While the pastor was bound, what prevented the murderer/life-time criminal and his trusty understudy from escaping; even if he had to steal the car to do it? They stabbed the pastor eighteen times and slit his throat. But, he was just fine when they stepped over him and left. Oh, by the way did the murderer have a way back home? Did the pastor supposed to supply the ride? As for the murderer’s allegations, I don’t think that they are worthy of the front page. The accused is not alive to defend himself. We rely on the word of a man already convicted eleven times. Also, if it is the truth, someone else will probably come forth. I don’t believe that it is true because I believe the pastor would have higher standards of the type of partner he would pursue. Dealing with an unstable person would not be a very good way of keeping a secret. And if this is true he was very good at keeping this secret.

And to the comment about rumors,I have heard the rumor before, but have never heard a possible partner. Also, let's get real, in the black community and I believe in the white also, if a person reaches the age and 50 and has never been married, they are automatically gay.

October 18, 2010 at 2:27 a.m.
ceeweed said...

Really good defense! This crime calls for an enhanced sentence. The "He was trying to turn me gay" excuse shouts of a hate crime but even that is hard to wrap my brain around. When is it not a hate crime when someone is slaughtered? Breeders, Quit having children you are not invested in raising to be respectable adults! QUIT F-ing BREEDING!

October 18, 2010 at 8:17 a.m.
raspus said...

OK let’s get for real here. Nobody here knows what really happened. We are all speculating. We have chosen sides in this case and our opinions flow to whatever side we have chosen. Some comments are downright radical. We talk about hate. I have read some comments here that display a lot of hate. I have read some that displayed a lot of compassion. The only thing that should matter is that a man was brutally murdered and that is the all that should matter. The police account gave what the investigators found at the scene of the crime, the coroner released his findings but, that only explained that the murder took place and how it happened and the condition of the body. It didn’t tell the details of why it happened. One of the perps told his side of the story and most of us assumed that he was lying because he’s an eleven time convicted felon. And because of that we assume that he can’t tell the truth. We have yet to hear Barnes side of the events leading up to the murder. And yes rumors are flying like wildfire and we at least some of us assume they are not true. Well as the song goes, nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors. In other words a gay person can stay in the closet till the day they die an no one would ever know it unless they choose to come out, look at some movie stars and recording artist. I guess what I’ trying to say here is that there is going to be a trial and it’ll all come out. And others may come forward and attest to the pastor’s lifestyle or to his wholesomeness. Either way the perps will be punished to the letter of the law. You can bet the farm on that.

October 18, 2010 at 10:26 a.m.
dmccormick001 said...

These two need to be executed pronto. I don't agree with the suggestion that putting them in prison for life is the best punishment, forcing them to "think about it every day for the rest of their lives". That's what any normal person might do, but these two aren't normal, they don't feel remorse or regret like a normal person does. Their consciences have been so battered that they don't work any more. If you imprison them and they ever manage to escape, someone else will likely be killed as they attempt to keep from being re-captured. Society deserves to be rid of anyone who would rob and kill a minister who had done nothing wrong, who had scores of devoted friends, and had worked to be a positive influence in the community. The story is obviously a load of crap, a pathetic attempt to explain away pure evil. Think about it, if you were the victim, would you turn to either of those two for a sexual partner, even if you were gay? Don't believe it.

October 18, 2010 at 10:53 a.m.
mike68 said...

Its a shame that the Times Free Press has to make this story the Headlines of Sunday's newspaper. More National Enquirer stories from the TFP!

October 18, 2010 at 11:18 a.m.
ameguy said...

I belong to the AME church and have known Pastor Strong for awhile. It has been known but never discussed at least aloud about his sexual preferences. I am not defending these men for his murder, however before we totally dismiss their allegations, id like to know if in fact a call was made from pastors phone to henry?

October 18, 2010 at 11:50 a.m.
raspus said...

I guess you may have figured out by now that I am also a member of the AME Church. And that’s why I have a wait and see attitude about this thing. I agree that these two perps deserve the death sentence that cannot be denied because Rev. Strong was a human being not deserving such a brutal death. I have known about the gay allegations for a long time but that is not the heart of the matter, the murder is. Remember that. What comes out comes out. That can’t be helped. The press will sensationalize this case we know this. All we can do is grin a bare it. And let the chips fall where they may.

October 18, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.
FM_33 said...

MaxHackettWPLZFM | On: October 17, 2010 at 6:35 a.m.


Good to see you back Max on the radio. I love the old stuff you did on WGOW a few years ago and then you took off somewhere. They can't keep a good olde person like you down so good luck with the new show and keep the air waves hot.

October 18, 2010 at 12:52 p.m.

Ok, being gay I have to say it doesn't shock me that this is on the front page. It is newsworthy because in most straight peoples minds: gays are out to convert the straight population. By no means would I want to try to convert a straight guy. Plus I am very happy with who I have. BTW, for those of you who don't think gays have committed relationships we do. He had a story and the TFP had to place it where it would get a buzz going. As for you Sandyonsignal, I can understand your outrage, but sadly news is news, and reporting the News is TFP job. Cancel your subscription, but sadly all that is going to do is put a small dent in TFP pocket. If more people felt the way you did maybe it would affect it, but I just doubt it will do much.

October 18, 2010 at 2:49 p.m.
xyzyra said...

{So xyzyra, if the reverend did come on to the guy, is that an excuse to torture the guy before he murdered him? I'd hope not. Username: mkelley | On: October 17, 2010 at 10:42 p.m.}


mkelley, let me put it to you this way. Minus how often Henry has been in trouble with the law, if you, your wife, daughter had been placed in a situation where they were locked in with no way to escape, and they fought like he!! to get themselves out of that situation, there only other choice was to be raped, and they killed their would be attacker--would you feel the same way here, or would you be handing them out medals for defending themselves.

October 18, 2010 at 5:39 p.m.
xyzyra said...

{Ok, being gay I have to say it doesn't shock me that this is on the front page. It is newsworthy because in most straight peoples minds: gays are out to convert the straight population. By no means would I want to try to convert a straight guy Username: Phantom_Shadowdweller | On: October 18, 2010 at 2:49 p.m}


I disagree, phantom. This is not an attack on gays. If the pastor was gay, so what? And I don't think it was purposely placed on the front page to attack gays. This is about a possible sexual predator, gay or straight, who might have used his profession as a pastor and good deeds he performed to prey on vulnerable young men. Unfortunately, if what Henry has said is true, there are bound to be other victims. The truth needs to come out. Young men, especially young black men, are very reluctant to admit they've been sexually molested, especially other men. Yet, they are the most vulnerable and choice of sexual predators. 1. They are usually poor and 2. No one will likely take their word over the word of a pastor or other authority figure if they did complain.

October 18, 2010 at 5:51 p.m.
ameguy said...

Precisely Xyzyra, their word is suspect when challenged by society at large. Pastor Strongs good deeds will never be forgotten. But if there are other victims or only these guys the truth must be told. Something went horribly wrong that night. I've believe the cops have already checked those phone records. I don't believe for a minute any Detective would risk his career and make the statements he did without some verification of Henry's allegations. That was an extraordinary amount of violence for a simple robbery.

October 18, 2010 at 6:54 p.m.
Abe said...

Excellent work getting this jailhouse interview.

People may not like what the man has to say, but he's innocent unless proven guilty. Even if guilty, he still has his free-speech rights.

Yes, if he's making up stories about his victim, that's unfortunate, but we'd be hearing it at the trial anyway. Hearing it now is news. Now we know what his claim is.

I see that it upsets Roy Exum terribly for this story to be told, so it must be real journalism!

October 18, 2010 at 11:43 p.m.
toopicky03 said...

Let me let yall know something about Pastor Strong. He might be a lot of things but a sexual predator he is/was NOT.... apparently no one knows Pastor Strong.Pastor Strong was the type of guy who would welcome anyone in and treat them with respect at anytime....First off, why would a 16 y/o be out with a 25 y/o and their momma isn't asking question or don't know where their 16 y/o child is. If it was at nite, he should have a curfew, it was in the morning he should have been at school or doing something productive. They is no reason u should not know where ur 16 y/o child is... Secondly, the 25 y/o is grown. GROWN.... IF U DON'T WANNA BE IN NO SITUATION LIKE THAT, DON'T PUT URSELF AND FAMILY IN THAT SITUATION......If this story is true...IF..... y would u let him lock the door?.... u knew u were about to rob him....ok so then u smoke his weed and eat his food....After the first time he made a move, u didn't ask to leave or start the robbery.... u have to wait 3 times before u do something. The funny thing to me after hearing the story was accused said he was still living when they left the house.... AFTER U SLIT HIS THROAT AND STAB HIM REPEATLY AND BEAT HIM WITH A STICK ANNNNNDDDDDD TIE HIM UP... ALLLLL WHILE HE IS BLEEDING.... How are u expecting him to live without immediate help? At least after they did all that, they could have called the police sayin it was self-defense.... NAHHHH they want to ride around in his car.... STUPID.....So yeah.... self-defense is probably not looking so good right now....And Misleading his people.... DON'T EVEN COMMIT ON HIS MINISTRY. He was a nice guy and people can say whatever about his character now but the real people he know/Knew knows this don't sound like DAVID STRONG. Cursing, lying, talking about people.... i may could have gone along with that.... holding someone hostage and making the feel uncomfortable.... that i can't do. It's a fine line between those things and i won't let yall talk about my friend like that in his passing... i will be keeping an eye on this little forum. Yall watch what yall say because i will be on this.... i advise u not to say too much about DAVID STRONG character.... What yall could all be doing right now is prayin for both families.... Pray for healing and a way to move on from all of this... and i mean that

October 19, 2010 at 6:28 a.m.

The young man robbed and beat that pastor to death and the lawyer is trying to keep him from getting the death penalty for this murder. Either way the community has last a fine man of God and a young man to the fast life of drugs and gang life that could have turned his direction around and made something of him self before he choose to do this fatal crime.

October 19, 2010 at 7:23 p.m.
muleFunk said...

Rev Strong was a nice person but if you look in his past there were things that occurred as far back as 30 years ago that could change your minds.

October 19, 2010 at 10:37 p.m.
rolando said...

Well, even Saul was given a chance to change, wasn't he?

October 20, 2010 at 5:46 p.m.
Clara said...

muleFunkF!

Tell it to the police! Not us! Rumor Monger!

October 20, 2010 at 6:19 p.m.
dede said...

I'm very disgusted by some of the comments. Pastor Strong died a very tragic and horrible death by the hands of another. Now people are trying to slander his name? That's not right. How would some of you people on here leaving this hurtful comments feel if it was one of your family members or friends? Regardless if Pastor Strong was gay or not, no one deserves to die that way. The fact is he was MURDERED! Let's not forget that. Let's not forget the fact that Pastor Strong was a mentor to Henry and to countless other people. It is not bad enough that they took his life? But to try to blame the victim, that's even worse. Henry is blaming everyone but himself. He should'nt have been on the street to begin with, that says alot about our justice system. Lets not forget that a life was taken, a mother lost her child, Pastor Strong was a son, a brother, an uncle, he was a very loving person. It is truly sad and hurtful to see some of the comments made from Henry and the people on this page, please lets not forget that a man was murdered, not if he was gay or not. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

October 21, 2010 at 3:23 p.m.
muleFunk said...

The young men who were involved in this case should get the death penalty and Rev Strong did not deserve to be killed in any manner, but the truth is the truth. His lifestyle may have led to his murder.This was not a normal robbery killing. This was torture. The normal profile of a gang style killing is with a gun. Knives and blunt force trama was used along with this victim being gagged and bound. In other words this was a rage killing.

October 21, 2010 at 6:54 p.m.
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