MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Linda and Benjamin Gayle are only left with the memory of their 25-year-old son Etienne Murray after he was brutally killed.
“He was full of life… he was fun, loving,” said his mother Linda Gayle. “He loved riding 4-wheelers. He was a talented artist. He could think of something and just draw it…”
These are just a few of the many memories they will hold on to forever of their son who died in the hospital on Friday.
Etienne was hospitalized on Tuesday, March 29, after being forcefully hit in the head with a shovel.
According to the Mobile Police Department, Morgan Barnhill called police on Tuesday night to report a burglary at his home. He told officers that an unknown man tried to enter his shed, so he struck the man over the head with a shovel in defense.
Through the course of the investigation, officers determined Barnhill’s story about an attempted burglary was false. Police say Barnhill later confessed.
Etienne’s mother says her son knew Barnhill, but she’s not sure as to exactly what led to the killing.
“We don’t know what happened exactly but what we were told is that something was going on between the two of them and that’s why he invited him over,” said Gayle. “The detective said he confessed, and he told him that he hit Etienne repeatedly with a shovel and two two-by-fours.”
Barnhill also waited to call police hours after the attack.
“He didn’t give him a chance”, said Gayle he left him there with his brain bleeding and his brain swelling for hours.”
Barnhill is being charged with murder and is expected in court next week for a bond hearing.