Chesco DA: 'When We Opened Up That Door... That Was a Doorway to Hell'

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrest of 20-year-old Shakeem Carter, of Norristown, for the Feb. 12 murder of Kevin Allen.

[Editorial note: This story contains graphic descriptions of a murder that may be disturbing to some readers.]

Describing the gruesome scene investigators discovered on entering apartment 127 of the Hanover Garden Apartments in North Coventry, Pa. on the evening Feb. 12, Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said they had opened "a doorway to hell."

Twenty-year-old Shakeem Carter, also of Norristown, has been arrested and charged with the grisly murder that authorities say was in connection with a robbery. Carter had allegedly stolen $350 given to Allen by his father to buy clothes.

Seventeen-year-old Kevin Allen's body was discovered in the blood-soaked apartment after police responded to a 9-1-1 call from a neighbor who heard a "terrible struggle" in the apartment next door. Officers responding to the scene found the apartment engulfed in flames and firefighters were dispatched to deal with the blaze. 

Once the fire was out, police entered the apartment and were faced with a horrifying scene, according to Hogan.

"When we opened that door into apartment 127, that was a doorway into hell," said Hogan. "There was blood covering the stairs, there was blood covering the door...and on the walls on either side."

Allen's body was discovered lying face down on the floor between the living room and the kitchen. He had been stabbed more than 20 times and his throat had been cut.

"He had been stabbed in the back far enough through to hit vital organs," said Hogan. "He had been stabbed in the head, and one of those stab wounds actually penetrated his skull. His throat was cut from the midline all the way across."

Defensive wounds were found on Allen's hands, indicating he had attempted to fight off his attacker.

"...He was fighting for his life," said Hogan. "He did not want to go down this way." 

Hogan said Allen's body had also been burned.

Police recovered evidence from the scene including several kitchen knives and several empty bottles of cooking oil, all with blood on them. According to Hogan, the oil had been used to burn the body.

The investigation led authorities to Carter, an acquaintance of Allen who had travelled with him on a bus from Norristown to Pottstown on Feb. 12. Allen was reportedly visiting his father's apartment to pick up $350 his father was giving him to buy clothes. Surveillance video reportedly shows Carter with Allen on the bus on the way to Pottstown, but Carter is later seen travelling back alone, without his coat and counting a stack of money.

When authorities questioned Carter, he allegedly told them he had not travelled by bus in over a month and had not seen Allen "in a long time." Hogan said a witness contradicted Carter's story and confirmed Carter had been with Allen on Feb. 12 and the two had travelling by bus to Allen's father's apartment in North Coventry.

Authorities say Carter robbed Allen, murdered him and attempted to burn the body to cover it up.

"What's the value of a young man's life today?" Hogan asked reporters at the Wednesday morning press conference. "$350, sadly is the value of a young man's life today. And that is a tragedy."

According to Hogan, Carter is currently housed in a Chester County correctional facility facing charges of murder, arson, abuse of a corpse, robbery and other related crimes. He is being held without bail.

Chester County Chief Detective James C. Vito thanked the Montgomery County Prison, Adult Probation Office, Detectives and District Attorney's Office; Norristown, West Norriton and Pottstown police departments; SEPTA Transit Police and the North Coventry Fire Co. Station 64, for their support and assistance with the investigation.

The truth will set u free March 01, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Anita March 01, 2013 at 07:32 PM
I find it amusing how people are sticking up for Shakeem and repeatedly saying, "He had a rough life" etc. That is the most pathetic excuse I have ever heard, but of course it would be coming from peope he knew- go figure. The way Kevin was murdered shows Shakeem is not stable by far and that if you knew he had such a rough life-- common sense says get him help so something like this wouldn't happen. Stabbing him over 20 times and how he was killed doesn't justify all because Shakeem had a rough life (look at people who have it worst, just saying.) Those people who knew Shakeem wasn't stable could of possibly made a change so I find it amusing reading the comments that stick up for him, but it's nice to see "but it was still wrong." There shouldn't be no 'but.' Shakeem is ill and a disgrace to society. He will get the punishment he deserves, no buts about it. Have a good day:)
katrina rohlf March 01, 2013 at 11:35 PM
@kevin allen jrs mom, My name is Katrina and I went to hoffman homes with kevin. He was an awesome friend. Always knew the right words to make ppl feel better wen sad or down. Very generous and loving. It breaks my heart to learn about this horrible news, and I pray for ur family sincerely. Its very stupid, and completely uncalled for wat ppl think is a rational behavior for money. Kevin earned the money, and as a reward he lost his life bc of some ruthless dickhead. Much love towards ur entire family. <3. Rest in peace Kevin. U r dearly loved.
Valerie Saulino March 02, 2013 at 12:06 PM
And politicians want to take away my guns...
monkeySEEmonkeyDO March 02, 2013 at 12:27 PM
We have an obligation to society and mankind to kill this peice of trash. It doesn't matter what kind of childhood a person has, if they slaughter other people for simple profit, then they need to be put down.
John Q. Public March 02, 2013 at 12:43 PM
This 'good kid' didn't turn into a homicidal monster overnight, as his friends and family know. Perhaps the acorn didn't fall far from the tree, as his supporters suggest, all the more reason to shut this dude down.
tim March 02, 2013 at 02:05 PM
great he made more monsters... i mean according to u
tim March 02, 2013 at 02:07 PM
but i am sure society would mine paying the cost
tim March 02, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Gwendolyn Handy more blah blah blah please u obviously r so enlightened
tim March 02, 2013 at 02:15 PM
tim March 02, 2013 at 02:17 PM
yeah!! smart man
Kelly March 02, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Gwendolyn, I agree with you. The eye-for-an-eye mentality is just as barbaric as what Shakeem did. We all need to calm down, take a deep breath, and learn something from this. Like the troubled boy in Connecticut who probably needed better mental health monitoring, so should Shakeem have been monitored and treated. I understand that he had a bad upbringing, but that is no excuse. I understand that everyone here is angry and would like to see retribution, but more killing is not the answer. Anger was not a good excuse for him and it is not a good excuse for you.
Marybeth Monaghan March 03, 2013 at 06:59 AM
We need to remain civilized and work within the law. To W... the killer needs to be in jail for the balance of his life with no chance of parole,ever.The acceptable level of violence in America today has to change...an eye for an eye is too much violence...but to imprison for life and keep the community safe is an obligation we all have to each other.
Brittany March 03, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Kevin's Mom is right . Everyone is Norristown has a story . One just more worse than the next . When we were younger my brother played with her sons and they were just boys . Just doing what boys were supposed to . They were troubled at times but never to the point of this insanity. People can sit here and say don't judge , but when you know the streets like we do & we know its a dog eat dog way of living you would know why people say kill him . This was an unfair fight to begin with . That boy had his plan to take Kevin's money before they entered that apartment . Kevin didn't even know that when he got on that bus , that boy had plans of ruining his day . Now what made him turn to murder in such a gruesome and heinous way , I can't speak on that because I do not know . But I will stick to facts and the fact is that he did that murder Kevin . And he deserves death . This is not an eye for an eye situation . It's justice . If a life is worth 350 dollars to him . Why should we pay our tax dollars to house him for the rest of his life . I say when the tax payers have paid 350 dollars for his, then his time is up and he should be put to death . It's a waste of money to keep someone who has no regard for human life, Alive .
Niecey March 03, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Amen JustKeepingItReal! Truth be told there are monster amung us. Some should not be walking the earth and even dangerous in confinement. Why should guards and prison staff even be exposed to a person with no regard for life. I know Carter is someones son, brother or father, but its time to come to terms with the reality of what he is and deal with the consequences that come with his actions. I keep hearing he was troubled and had a rough life. If family knew he was troubled and unstable, why didn`t you do anything prior? It does not justify the violent murder of a 17 year old kid. People need to start acknowledging mental illness and stop ignoring it. He`s a danger to society, come to terms with it and prepare.
gerhard sweetman March 03, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Hell=criminal & religious insanity. $ free Island for lifetime cohab
Lisette March 04, 2013 at 02:07 PM
They need to stab n burn him aswell
Marybeth Monaghan March 04, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Densie...sorry you feel sick...but to clarify...this bleeding heart does not have more sympathy for the killer than for the victim...neither do most "bleeding hearts". Put this young man in prison for life with no chance for parole. The community must be kept safe so,no parole...ever. We can learn from this sad murder and maybe even help folks who are so troubled right now,before a horrible crime occurs.Caring and kindness and conflict resolution are not silly,bleeding heart ideas...along with respect for your fellow man,they are guiding lights in getting along with each other and need to be taught and modeled early in a child's life...ALL children.This wretch goes to prison for life(I know,prison guards,etc.are exposed to this horror...well,unless we sanction wholesale murder by the state ourselves,we do need prisons and the folks who CHOOSE to work there...God bless them and the work they do to keep us safe)
Marybeth Monaghan March 04, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Regina...why would you say a thing like that? Hate only gets hate and it only gets worse daily when hate is our guide.Do not say I am asking for mercy for this fellow...I am asking for him to go to prison for the balance of his ife...no chance of parole ever.But...stab him,etc.? Look into the background of someone who doesn't agree with you? People can disagree as this is America and we are fortunate to have freedom of speech...many of our military died for us to maintain that right...let us not disrespect the risks our military took and the price many paid.Prison for life for this murderer...please don't even suggest that I (or any other "bleeding heart")want anything different.
Brittany March 04, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Yes, these boys are taught to get it how you can by the same people claiming they have had a rough life. They are not the only ones , I have the same story with an outrageous temper and I have not killed yet. I stay to myself because I know what type of nonsense sets me off. If these people were out here worried about getting their own, and that doesn't mean taking from another to get it, they wouldn't have time to get caught up in the mess. But know Norristown is full of nosey people that want to know how much food stamps you have. The only person I feel sorry for is Kevin because he is not here to continue his life. I dont care what his past is he did not kill someone whom he called a friend over petty money . That was no life changing amount, not saying this crime would be justified if it was. But its cut and dry, he knew what he was going to get and he wanted it. He must not have expected Kevin to fight back and he took it by any means necessary. The boy who did it may be someones family but they obviously weren't worried about him if they've just been excusing his crime with that he's had a rough past story. That's pathetic.
Marybeth Monaghan March 05, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Shelley...he should be tortured some more? What are we becoming? Prison for life,no chance of parole ever keeps him away from the community and keeps him confined for the balance of his life. Why would a civilized community want torture?God help us...we are modeling for our children with such anger and we wonder why they bully? Would you really enjoy knowing that he was tortured?Time to examine your thoughts and understand why you woukld want such a thing.
Marybeth Monaghan March 05, 2013 at 03:28 PM
w...your suggestion to put a bullet in his head and throw him in a ditch and let him rot,makes you sound as though you are no longer a human...I'm sure you are a good human person...why suggest that kind of justice? We have laws for a reason.Our country is a civilized country(I hope)and your anger is understandable considering the horrendous crime...but an equally horrendous punishment is not the answer.Prison for life with no chance ever of parole is what we need for his punishment and to keep the community safe...prison for life...no parole,ever.
mark oglesby March 14, 2013 at 01:19 AM
I know im a little late to comment but at the end of the day the government and politicians have created this evil society in which we live. We the people black,white,yellow,brown need to take our nation back even if means some of us losing our live. Until we do that we will keep experiencing hurt and pain from senseless crimes like this one.
UNKNOWN March 24, 2013 at 02:28 AM
kind of late but ,shakeem is grown just like the rest of us on this post . we ALL know right from wrong & shakeem was wrong .. none of us really know the truth of why he did it but i have no remorse for shakeem .. he deserves life in prison & HELP !! he has babies that he needs to support mentally !!! @KEVINS MOM - im so sorry for your loss i dont know what it feels like to lose a son but god has a reason for it all dont let these people get your emotions in a bunch .. they aren't worth it , god has a plan for you & your family so dont worry bout the outsiders looking in .. kevins' your guardian angel & will never leave you .. keep your head held high thru the tough times !
BethBaldovsky June 08, 2013 at 02:34 AM
I'm kevins godmother, thank u. Kevin had his faults and had some fucked up things in his life but he didn't murder anybody and defiantly in this heinous fashion. He wanted to make everybody love everybody. I don't I've a shit about his fucked up upbringing that boy just wanted love in his life and thank u everybody who has brought love to his death. I cry every night ur I try not to cause i know he would want me to smile
Bebs BFF June 08, 2013 at 08:41 AM
How about asking "God" to help you spell and use the correct grammer.
Bebs BFF June 08, 2013 at 08:44 AM
Wow, with the way flithy words come out of your mouth, it's no wonder this young man had problems picking the right kind of people to befriend.
Beth B June 10, 2013 at 07:50 PM
I should not have been drunk typing which is why some of my post doesnt make sense and why I used such language. Those words did not come out of my mouth, I typed them and I never used foul language around him or my other god children. I never drink except at home with adults only. But what I want to know is why ANYBODY is looking to blame ANYBODY other than his murderer!!!!!!!!!!!!
Niecey June 10, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Again with this "my god" bullsh*t.. Spare me the religious Christian attitude that you're too quick to forget when "evil" deeds are personal.
Ridiculous June 10, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Maybe Bebs BFF should learn to spell grammar before jumping on here to correct people about their spelling and grammar.


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