Crime & Courts

Police: Twins argued for days before deadly shooting

The twin brothers had lived in the small, tree-shaded house near the corner of Central and Meridian for years.

Twice in a three-year span, police had been called to the dark blue house with a tidy front porch in the 600 block of North Gordon to handle disputes between the brothers, yet neighbors indicated they generally seemed to get along.

But in recent days, police said Thursday, the twins had bickered over their pets and over food in the house. Things boiled over Wednesday night.

“There was some type of verbal and physical altercation in the residence,” Capt. Brent Allred said.

Charles Lea, 59, called 911 at 7:13 p.m. and said he had shot his brother. When officers and EMS arrived, they found Robert Lea with a gunshot wound in his chest. He was pronounced dead at 7:22 p.m.

“Very seldom do we have that,” Allred said of a suspect calling 911 to report a crime. “This is an unusual situation.”

After questioning, Charles Lea was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder. He claims he was defending himself, and Allred said police are investigating that possibility. Only one shot was fired during the altercation, he said.

“There were several weapons located inside the residence,” including guns, knives and swords, Allred said.

Police were called to the house in 2006 and 2009 to handle domestic disputes between the brothers, he said.

The case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office either late this week or early next, he said. It will be up to the District Attorney’s Office what, if any, charges are filed.

This is the sixth homicide of the year in Wichita, he said.

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