One triplet charged with his brother’s death on King St. in Columbus; neighbor reacts

Updated: Aug. 27, 2019 at 6:18 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A Columbus community is dealing with the unthinkable.

The triplets were all living together, now one is dead and another is charged with murdering one of his brothers.

The brothers lived on King Street near Lawyers Lane. One neighbor spoke exclusively and said the boys were like his family. He said he never expected one of the brothers to kill another.

“I know that they’re big boys," said Frank Goodman."They’re grown men. So you fight like grown men, right? But I would never want to imagine that it would come to this kind of result.”

Goodman said he has lived near triplets Kevin, Kenneth and Keith Jernigan since they moved onto King Street about a year ago. Officials said early Tuesday morning, Kevin was found dead inside of his home.

“Mr. Kevin Jernigan was stabbed," said Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley. "We are transporting him at this time to Atlanta to a crime lab for an autopsy.”

His brother, Kenneth Jernigan, was arrested and charged with his murder just hours later.

Goodman said King Street is quiet. There’s rarely crime. He said he was surprised to walk out of his home Tuesday morning to see crime scene tape, police cars, and neighbors standing in the street.

Records show all three brothers have a criminal record. But Goodman said he never saw a problem, other than their every day brotherly fights, which were contained in the home.

“Those guys would fight frequently, but I don’t want anyone to feel that they were a threat to anyone in the community," Goodman said. "You just had a concern for them.”

Neighbors said the triplets just celebrated their 36th birthdays this past week. Now, they are concerned for how this series of events will impact Keith Jernigan, the brother who was not involved in this incident.

Kenneth Jernigan is scheduled to go before a judge Thursday morning.

This is the third homicide Columbus investigators have worked in less than two days. Sunday night at 11 p.m., two men from Albany, Georgia were killed. Detectives wrapped up that crime scene around 3 p.m. Monday afternoon and were back at it again at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.

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