Slain U.S. tourist didn't instigate fight at Thai karaoke bar, family says

Jason Sickles
Yahoo! NewsAugust 2, 2013

An American tourist who was killed with an iron rod at a Thai karaoke bar this week did not provoke his attackers, his ex-wife tells Yahoo News.

Police said Bobby Ray Carter Jr., 51, of Dallas, was killed earlier this week by three band members who had been performing at the Little Longhorn Saloon, a popular tourist destination in the resort beach town of Ao Nang. His son, 27-year-old Adam Carter, was also wounded.

Multiple reports, citing police and other officials, say Bobby Carter was drunk, belligerent and refused to let other customers have their turn on stage.

“Witnesses said Carter got angry when the band played ‘Hotel California’ instead of the song he requested, and he refused to step down,” police chief Col. Taskin Pochakorn says in story by Associated Press.

Melissa Carter, who is Bobby’s ex-wife and Adam’s mother, says the facts are being distorted.

“They want to make it look like it was a crazy tourist,” Carter told Yahoo News. “Bob barely even drinks. That’s not how our family is.”

She wasn’t on the trip, but has spoken to her son by phone.

“For anything to be written that makes it look like he was in a drunken brawl is absolutely a lie,” Carter says.

She says those in the group paid their tab and left the bar as soon as they felt the band starting to grow hostile towards them.

“Nothing happened in the bar,” Carter says. “There was no altercation.”

Instead, she alleges the band and a group of other locals rushed the Carters as they were walking away.

Adam Carter needed 350 stitches for a wounded nose, shoulder and bicep.

“They almost cut his arm off,” his mother told Yahoo News.

Police charged the three band members with causing death by physical attack which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Ratikorn Romin, the musician who allegedly stabbed Carter, was granted bail on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Adam Carter, his stepmother and other friends were still in Thailand on Friday meeting with authorities.

“We want to make sure they get prosecuted,” Melissa Carter says. “Those guys aren’t going to get away with this.”

Bobby Carter owned a Dallas-based company that sells LED lights to bars, retail stores and other commercial businesses. His son Adam manages his manufacturing operation in China. The elder Carter also has two other children and two grandchildren.

“He was a gentle giant and a peacemaker,” his ex-wife says. “He is just an unbelievably nice and giving person.”