NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A Castle Hayne man is jail charged with killing his wife in their home last night. Keith Waters, 48, has a history of domestic violence, including a 2009 conviction for trying to strangle his wife.
Investigators say Waters stabbed his wife Kay in their home on Hanover Avenue in Castle Hayne. Today Waters made his first appearance in court.
Waters is charged with second-degree murder for Kay's death, but District Attorney Ben David says the charge could become first-degree murder if investigators determine the alleged crime was premeditated.
Because of Waters's history of domestic violence, neighbors and friends say they are not surprised by what happened Tuesday. They would not go on camera, because they say deputies asked them not to talk to media until after the investigation. Off camera, though, a family friend said Keith Waters was "in desperate need of help."
The 911 call reporting Kay Waters's death, though, did not come from neighbors. It came from family.
"I don't live there. It's my father who I'm reporting," the man told dispatch. "His name is William Keith Waters. I know he's been arrested there many times before."
Keith Waters is an ex-Marine, who David says has a bipolar disorder. David also said in court that waters has a substance abuse problem.
According to the 911 call, Waters called his son and told him that he had killed his wife.
"I told him, I ended the conversation by saying that I was going to have to call the authorities, and he basically told me that he was just joking and he was basically lonely and trying to get my attention, and he wanted to talk to me," the caller said. "Believe it or not it's not too far out of his realm to kind of do stuff like this, so I didn't really believe him. He's never said that he's killed somebody before, but he's kind of gone to some extremes."
Relative of Kay Waters did not want to speak. They said it's just too soon.
Waters is in jail under $1 million. He is due back in court December 15.