The Rutherfordton Police Department is investigating after Rutherfordton man, Robert Marvin Rape Sr., was found dead in his yard from an “apparent gunshot wound.” Rape is the grandfather of Matthew Fenner, (pictured) who testified against a minister charged with his kidnapping and assault.

Rape Sr., 70, was found shot dead in his  yard on Briarwood Drive in North Carolina on the morning of June 17, 2017.


The Rutherfordton Police Department said in a press release they requested a consultation meeting with special agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and a representative from District Attorney Ted Bell’s office.

The chief of police called this an “unattended death” investigation. Authorities said the investigation is still active and they’re conducting interviews and preparing evidence for forensic examination.

Fenner testified against a North Carolina anti-gay minister on trial for kidnapping and assault him during an attempt to exorcise “homosexual demons.”

Brooke Covington, a 58-year-old minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, N.C., is accused of directing others to beat Fenner, and participating in the abuse herself. If convicted, she could spend up to two years in prison.

Others charged in the case are, Sarah Covington Anderson, Adam Bartley, Justin Covington and Robert Louis Walker Jr. The charges include simple assault and kidnapping. Anderson also faces an additional charge of assault by strangulation.

(Photo: myfox8 Photo credit: WLOS Staff)