published Friday, April 6th, 2012

Bradley County homicide suspect had drugs in system

  • photo
    Bradley County Sheriff vehicles surround the home at 325 Baker Bridge Road in Cleveland, Tenn., where a triple homicide occurred.
    Photo by Alex Washburn /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Charles Boling Sr. didn’t drink alcohol before killing his wife, his son and himself, but a toxicology report shows he did have painkillers and possibly other opiates in his system.

Blood tests show Boling, 68, had taken hydrocodone and dihydrocodeine, along with the depression medication citalopram before shooting himself in head with a shotgun at his son’s home in Bradley County, Tenn.

The triple homicide, which took place on Sept. 30, rattled neighbors and family, many of whom live near the scene of the shooting on Baker Bridge Road, located about halfway between Charleston and Benton, Tenn. The Bolings had been connected to the community for more than 20 years.

After the shooting, some police in Bradley County said it was one of the grisliest scenes they’ve ever responded to.

The autopsy report shows Boling’s wife Gail, 64, and son Charles Boling Jr., 47, died from multiple gunshot wounds. Gail Boling was shot in the back and at close range in the chest and abdomen with a shotgun, hitting her heart and liver, according to the autopsy released Thursday.

But Charles Boling Jr. was shot four times in the chest and back with a different gun. His head showed injuries from blunt-force trauma with a Smith and Wesson Model 64 revolver, the autopsy states.

Another man, Kenneth Kilgore, Charles Boling Jr.’s domestic partner, was also shot at the home, but Kilgore survived.

It’s unclear whether Charles Boling Sr. and his son struggled over the Smith and Wesson revolver or whether Charles Boling Jr. was trying to use the gun to protect himself. Officials with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday they could not comment on the case and the detective who investigated the killings wasn’t in the office.

Gail Boling and her husband had a history of domestic problems and, days before the quadruple shooting, she had left him to stay with her son. Boling Sr. was infuriated that she left and went to his son’s house, according to police.

Only a month before, the Boling’s daughter, Priscilla McDonald, had reported her father to police when he threatened to kill himself. When police responded to that 911 call, they found Boling Sr. intoxicated in his home in Etowah, Tenn., and when he made threats to harm himself he was taken to a hospital for evaluation, police records show.

On the morning of the shootings, Boling Sr. burst through the door of his son’s home, carrying a rifle, Kilgore told police. He said Boling Jr. tried to stop his father.

Kilgore called 911 from a bathroom and begged for help.

“Help me, I’ve been shot,” he whispered in the phone. “I don’t want to die.”

about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

about Joy Lukachick...

Joy Lukachick is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing ...

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