Man Charged With Murdering Stepson Due In Court

A man charged with murdering his stepson is scheduled to appear in Superior Court Tuesday morning.

45 year-old Alton Modlin, known as Lee, is charged with murdering his stepson in Grimesland in May. The body of 25 year-old Ricky Whitehurst was found near the Modlin home. Detectives think Whitehurst was hit in the head with the wooden handle of a shovel.

Modlin was released on a $14,000 bond. The judge says the bond was set low because the family said Whitehurst had a history of violence.


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  • by Past on Oct 8, 2009 at 06:00 AM
    The real WRONG done here, was that Lee left Ricky all night to die.... that's not self-defense thats intentional.
  • by Past on Oct 8, 2009 at 05:45 AM
    To Extended Family: If you were not there then you really can't say with all honesty whether Ricky threatened Lee's life. Yes, I can see Lee's face, he's got some marks but nothing life threatening, nothing that fists or a tussle on the ground couldn't have made. Nothing in the photo gives me the concept that he was VICIOUSLY attacked. Did he receive medical attention?? The answer would be NO. Further more, someone who is acting out of self-defense wouldn't have left him there to die, if his only intentions were to get Ricky off of him, he had succeeded... why leave him to die??? To answer your question about if it had been Lee that was left to die, NO that would have been just as wrong. And you are right.... no one could have known for certainty that this would be the time that someone would be killed, BUT history between these two should have given someone a clue that they shouldn't even be living close to each other.....right??
  • by Extended Family Location: Nearby on Oct 8, 2009 at 03:43 AM
    To: Past @3:30pm - No, I wasn't there, as evidently no one was, except for Lee & Ricky, but, if you take a good look at Lee's photo, I would hope that you can "grasp the concept" that he was viciously attacked and if he struck a fatal blow with the handle of a shovel which ended Ricky's life, it seems obvious that he was acting in self-defense, therefore I disagree that Lee was wrong to react to Ricky's violence towards him. Yes, someone should have sought help before this tragic event took place, but how was anyone to know when or how this "conflict" would occur? Regardless, I am curious as to others' opinions of Ricky if he had survived and Lee had been the "victim". In my opinion, Lee was the victim, as he was on his own property when approached by an assailant, who unfortunately happened to be his stepson rather than an acquaintance or a total stranger. Diane would have to defend the killer of her husband had Ricky succeeded in his attack on Lee, don't you agree? No one won here.
  • by Past on Oct 7, 2009 at 12:30 PM
    Are there witnesses to this murder? Extended Family commented that Ricky threatened Lee's life.... were you there? If I grasp the concept of your posting it was just a matter of time of WHO was going to kill WHO first?? Does that give Lee the right to take his life? WHAT is right? Right would have been other options....with the history of these two, time had provided other options but Lee chose the WRONG option. I am sorry for Diane's loss, but because she didn't take steps to defuse the situation she will have to forever defend the killer of her son.
  • by Extended Family Location: Nearby on Oct 7, 2009 at 07:22 AM
    What would you who are so critical of Lee and supportive of Ricky be saying had Ricky killed Lee? In the end WHO is right is not nearly as important as WHAT is right. Is is wrong to defend yourself when you come under attack? Had there been guns involved, instead of a brick and a shovel handle, it would have depended on who fired the quickest and best shot I suppose? Regardless, Ricky is gone and Lee is facing the consequences of Ricky's actions, as well as his own reactions. Don't you think that is enough for this family to have to handle at this time? Nobody wins in a case like this. Diane has lost her son and her husband is still "under the gun" until he has his day in court to determine what the future holds for him. Had Ricky not approached Lee none of this would be happening, right? It's not as if Lee planned to harm Ricky. He only did what anyone in their right mind would have done after Ricky threatened his life.
  • by Tammy Location: Washington on Oct 6, 2009 at 03:57 PM
    So does anyone know what happened in court today?
  • by RIP on Oct 6, 2009 at 12:52 PM
    WITN please keep us updated!!! RIP Ricky!! You will truley be missed!!!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 6, 2009 at 11:19 AM
    I know being a step parent is very hard. Times when I would have LOVED to knock them out and they would have deserved it. Don't know this crowd but I do know that I would defend myself if I had to. Maybe this was the case for Lee. Don't be quick to judge just because you know the victim. If you were not there...you don't what happened. Sorry for the loss of this young man.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 6, 2009 at 09:35 AM
    It has been brought to my attention that a person that I'm very close to had become close to Ricky. It was told that Lee had a history of attacking Ricky. It doesn't matter what Ricky did he didn't deserve to be murdered. Pulling up this victims past isn't fair. But then again nothing in this world is fair anymore. Did anyone bother bringing up that Lee has an alochol problem?
  • by c note Location: chocowinity on Oct 6, 2009 at 08:57 AM
    WITN I hope you continue to follow this story. Many of us are very concerned and would like to know the outcome of this. I must add, Ricky was not perfect, and none of us are, but he will still be missed. I knew him personally, and he was never violent in my presence. Perhaps it was the way he was raised by his so called parents than turnt him out the way it did. It's hard to be a perfect person when you have poor upbringing and guidance.
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