Joseph Cambron told police he stabbed 12-year-old after altercation
Cambron admits he killed Ray Allen Etheridge but claims the boy had punched him and stole his wallet
Thursday, February 5th 2015, 3:34 pm EST
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – Joseph Cambron told police he was smoking a cigarette with 12-year-old Ray Allen Etheridge in Cherokee Park when “out of nowhere” the boy punched him, stole his wallet and took off.
In recounting the Sept. 30 incident, Cambron said he pulled a knife from his pants and chased after Ray, stabbing him in the back and causing him to fall to the ground where “he still tried to fight me."
“Next thing I remember, the knife is in his chest, my hand is shaking and I pulled it out,” Cambron, 21, quietly told Louisville Metro Police detectives in October. “He said he was sorry and I let him go.”
After getting his wallet back, Cambron said he watched Ray run away, according to a police interview released in Jefferson Circuit Court Thursday as part of the evidence in his murder case.
“I didn't see him fall down dead,” said Cambron, who stared down, avoiding eye contact with police during his confession. “I didn't know if he was OK. I was hoping that he was. ... I just killed him. I didn't even mean to.”
The confession came after Cambron initially told investigators he had nothing to do with the juvenile's death, at one point saying he and a friend even talked about wanting to kill whoever was responsible.
“I would want to kill the guy; who wouldn't?” Cambron told detectives. “It's a kid. I can understand an old guy. His time was coming soon anyway."
But Cambron's story quickly fell apart after he admitted he was with Ray at the Mid-City Mall library the day the child was killed.
Ray was found unresponsive in a wooded area near a campsite where Cambron was living in Cherokee Park. He died of two stab wounds, in his chest and back, according to an autopsy report.
After stabbing Ray, Cambron said he believed the “most that would happen was that he would bleed a little bit."
Cambron said he left and never looked back to see what happened to Ray, tossing the knife when he realized he "might be in trouble.”
During the confession, which came several hours into his interview with police, Cambron repeatedly maintained that he didn't mean to kill Ray and hadn't planned it.
“Not one time did I think about killing him,” he said.
But Cambron also admitted that he never thought of calling for help for Ray.
“I just wanted to get out of there,” Cambron said, adding, he didn't know Ray had died until hearing about it at a bar later that night.
Sarah Clay, an attorney for Cambron, declined to comment. Cambron is charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence.
On the video, it is clear Cambron is hesitant to talk to police at first, saying he ended up in jail the last time he answered their questions. At one point, Cambron says he wants an attorney, but, after being told he was going to be charged, continues to speak with detectives.
In August, Cambron was acquitted by a Jefferson Circuit Court jury of sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl.
Cambron told police during that
investigation that he had been accused of sexually abusing five children in all – three in the neighborhood where he lived and two in a state home – but that he was innocent.
While investigating that case,
that she should have a male police officer talk with him because "he gets very aggressive, very quickly."
Cambron told police during the October interview that he had "burned bridges" throughout his life and didn't think he would ever be forgiven for Ray's death.
“I killed somebody … and there is no justification, no punishment that I could possibly do to prove how sorry I am,” he said. “I can't give them (Ray's parents) another son.”
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