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Many Questions Still Raised About Weakley Co. Murders

By Emily Cassulo
By ecassulo@wbbjtv.com

WEAKLEY COUNTY, Tenn. - There are still many questions surrounding the double murder near Greenfield.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News wanted to know if suspect Eric McAlister has a history of violence, and whether officers did what they could when the family asked for help.

Eric's family is still surprised by his actions, Wednesday.

"Not easy to cope with it. It's terrible," said family member Barry Walker. "This is the worst thing in the world that could happen..."

McAlister is accused of running over his father, David, with a pickup truck, and fatally shooting Timothy Betts, who was trying to help.

"David was very humble and hard working and meek, and loved [his sons], and Eric is not an exception," Walker said.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News checked with court clerks in Gibson and Weakley Counties. Overall, Eric had a pretty clean record.

Weakley County court officials said McAlister was arrested in 2010 for DUI, implied consent, and evading arrest.

The DUI and implied consent charges were dismissed, but he pleaded guilty to evading arrest.

In Gibson County, he only had a couple traffic citations.

However, family members told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News they were concerned about him the past few weeks.

"Eric was... something happened. I don't know, and Eric was a good guy, a wonderful person," Walker said.

They contacted the Weakley County Sheriff's Department and Greenfield Police Department.

The sheriff said Eric's mother called him, saying that Eric was depressed.

The police chief said he recalls an officer going to Eric's house once for a welfare check after his family asked.

Family members claimed law enforcement told them they could not do anything, unless Eric hurt himself or someone else.

They just wish this could have been prevented.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News tried to get a copy of the call log from Weakley County 911 Dispatch, to see how many times officers have checked on McAlister, but the supervisor was off, Friday.