(Memphis) Forty-six year-old Ernest McCoy is facing 2nd degree murder charges and the man he's accused of killing is his friend.
Police say the Frayser man beat his buddy to death, but the suspect's relatives say he shouldn't be locked up.
Raymond McCoy told us, "He'd been working for my brother. My brother and him was like best friends."
Raymond McCoy's brother, Ernest, ran an appliance repair shop out of his Frayser home.
Police say Wednesday, Ernest killed his buddy, Earl Goforth, who used to work for him.
"Mr. Goforth was on drugs that's all it was to it. He got fired the day before and he came back trying to steal his torch," said Raymond McCoy.
McCoy says Goforth ran when he got caught and his brother chased Goforth down.
McCoy said the blows were in self defense, "My brother didn't do nothing wrong. He swung at my brother and my brother hit him a couple of times and that was it."
Goforth lived long enough to tell investigators who beat him.
McCoy said, "If they convict my brother or don't let my brother free on this, they're showing everybody else in the community, all over Memphis, that it's alright for somebody to come in your property and take what they want."
He believes McCoy's past arrest record is the reason he's in jail now, "That was in his past. This is the present. My brother had straightened his life up and doing right and this is what happened. Memphis is really messed up."
Ernest McCoy remains in jail on a $500,000 bond.