Chesco man sentenced to life for shooting, killing next-door neighbor

Jim Melwert
August 30, 2019 - 1:48 pm
Clayton Carter stands trial for the fatal shooting of his neighbor George Jennings

Courtesy of the Chester County Police Department


CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A Chester County man who was convicted of killing his neighbor is on his way to state prison for the rest of his life.

Prosecutor Vince Cocco hopes a life sentence for Clayton Carter gives the family of Brooks Jennings some closure.

“Brooks Jennings was a loving husband to his wife, a tremendous father to his young son. His friends and family are clearly heartbroken and we understand they’ll never be able to fill that void,” he said.

Carter was convicted of first-degree murder in June for shooting Jennings in August 2017. The two argued along their property line in their West Goshen neighborhood. Carter said Jennings came at him with a knife. 

The jury didn’t buy Carter’s justification of self-defense, as his DNA was found on the knife despite his claims that he never touched it.

Jennings was shot twice in the head. 


At the sentencing, Cocco said Jennings’ 11-year-old son, who was 9 on the night his dad was murdered, stood by his uncle and his grandfather as they read a statement.

"And then at the end, Jill Jennings, Brooks’ wife, when she gave her statement, the last thing she read was three sentences that were written by her son," Cocco added, saying that his father is gone but his mother continues to be strong.

Cocco said Carter did address the court, but he never apologized, expressed any sorrow or explained what he did. Instead, Cocco said “he blamed others for his viciousness and violence.”