Court documents have shed more light on how a night out drinking with friends at a Florida bar ended with the alleged murder of a 25-year-old mom of twins last week.
Citing a witness account of the chaotic scene, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said that Tierra Binion and another woman told off a bar patron for “talking about their bodies” and harassing them before a fight erupted, spilled outside, and Christian Ketchup, 25, “unloaded” the magazine of his firearm, killing Binion.
Ketchup, who was at Mugs n’ Jugs on Scenic Highway in Pensacola with his 23-year-old co-defendant girlfriend Rachel DeRise, allegedly responded to being told off by further instigating the confrontation and ultimately shooting Tierra Binion seven times. Authorities said Ketchup opened fire around 1 a.m. on Aug. 23 after he knocked Binion out with a sucker-punch and after DeRise hit the victim while she was on the ground.
A witness told investigators she “walked up during the middle of a ‘brawl'” and saw DeRise and Ketchup, “both of whom she has known for years, walking.”
The witness said a woman “started popping off to them” and then “swung at” DeRise. The two women fought. Suddenly, Ketchup got involved, knocked Binion to the ground and opened fire, according to this witness account.
Another witness identified DeRise and Ketchup as her friends. She claimed she saw DeRise “on the ground being dragged by a female.”
The witness said Ketchup saw DeRise in a fight and “went over and started punching at the female.”
Authorities said that video surveillance cameras at the bar showed Ketchup “pull out a firearm from his waistband several times and wave it around.”
“A short time later, I observed [Ketchup] strike [Villarente/Binion] and knock her to the ground,” the affidavit said.
DeRise then “jumps on top of” Binion and “begins striking her,” authorities said.
Evidence showed Ketchup almost immediately fired multiple rounds “while practically standing over” Binion, court documents said.
Ketchup helped DeRise up and they fled, deputies said.
A third witness was identified as a male who “stated that he isn’t friends with any of the parties involved, but is an acquaintance” of the victim’s from “seeing her around at the bars.”
The witness said that he saw Binion “holding back a guy from fighting” when DeRise, in the witness’ words, “comes out of left field and just pushes the victim, falls to the ground, and they started fighting on the ground.”
“Then not 5 seconds later here comes the shooter. He comes and grabs the white girl [DeRise] because the white girl was the one that was the aggressor, going onto the victim,” the witness said, according to deputies.
A fourth witness said he saw Ketchup pull out a gun and holster it before going over to DeRise and yelling “who touched you.”
That witness said he saw DeRise hit Binion while she wasn’t looking, that the victim fell to the ground, and that Ketchup opened fire. The witness assigned blame to DeRise for starting the incident.
“[The witness] stated that he visually remembers [Binion] just standing there when [DeRise] hit her,” documents said. “[The Witness] stated that [Binion] turned and slung [DeRise] to the ground after being hit.”
According to the affidavit, DeRise “stated she was too drunk to remember anything that happened.”
A deputy said her knees had scrapes on them “as if she had fallen to the ground.”
The affidavit filed in Ketchup’s case went into even more detail.
A female witness said in a sworn statement that she and Binion were at the bar minding their own business when an “unknown black male wearing a black shirt and grey shorts approached” them and started “talking about their bodies.”
The witness “stated they told him to stop and keep walking, but he kept harassing them,” the affidavit said.
Ketchup’s attorney Thomas F. McGuire III told Law&Crime that his client was not the man who was “being lewd with the girls” prior to the shooting (documents described Ketchup as wearing a blue shirt and a cap).
The lawyer, noting his client is an IT analyst for Navy Federal who has never been arrested before, claimed his client believed that Binion “was inflicting deadly force, or it appeared that she was inflicting deadly force, on Ketchup’s girlfriend.”
McGuire said that Ketchup and DeRise had gone out to dinner together and with friends, then bowled until around midnight before going to the Mugs n’ Jugs bar.
The lawyer claimed that Binion had already initiated a fight before Ketchup got into the bar, with the victim and male friends “beating on a guy who was being lewd with the girls earlier in the night.”
During the chaotic scuffle, Binion “winds up attacking and beating Ketchup’s girlfriend,” the lawyer said. According to McGuire, Ketchup “freak[ed] out” after hearing Binion yell “where is my gun,” believing that Binion was “trying to inflict mortal injury on his girlfriend.”
Seeing DeRise with blood on her, Ketchup thought Binion was stabbing his girlfriend and took action to protect her, according to the defense version of events.
The lawyer also noted there was a stabbing at the bar a couple of weeks earlier.
According to law enforcement, Ketchup escalated the incident to deadly violence outside of the bar.
An Uber driver who happened to be at the scene dropping off a passenger told deputies he saw that Ketchup knocked Binion out, pulled out a gun, and “unloaded it” into Binion, killing her.
“Obviously there’s no reason to do that. You could have easily walked away,” Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons previously said of DeRise allegedly punching Binion while she was unconscious. “That’s not a mutually combatant type situation.”
Responding deputies found Binion dead in the parking with “numerous shell casings” around her body, as well as Ketchup’s wallet and ID.
A witness at the scene who knew the alleged gunman for several years told investigators that she was there when the shooting occurred and initially left in a car with Ketchup and several others.
The witness said she heard Ketchup in the backseat of the car making “a comment about shooting all of his bullets.” That was when the occupants of the vehicle told him to get out, the affidavit said.’
Ketchup later called 911 to turn himself in, authorities said.
He didn’t want to make a statement “but was very emotional and appeared intoxicated,” authorities said.
While Ketchup faces a murder case and remains behind bars without bond, DeRise was charged with misdemeanor battery and released on a $15,000 bond.
Court records indicate both defendants waived arraignments this week and entered not guilty pleas through their attorneys.
Law&Crime reached out to DeRise’s attorney Robert Dees for comment.
An obituary said that Tierra Binion was survived by her twin boys, parents, and four siblings (two brothers and two sisters). Her funeral was held on Aug. 26.
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