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Man charged with murder in fatal fight

BY KAT RUSSELL krussell@paducahsun.com

One man died and another was charged with murder after a stabbing Saturday night outside the Elks Lodge on South Jefferson Street in Princeton.

Princeton police said William Grant Beckner, 50, and Joseph R. Anderson, 54, both of Princeton, got into an argument inside the Elks Lodge and were asked to leave.

Once outside, police said, the argument escalated to a fistfight. During the course of the fight, Beckner was stabbed several times.

Police were called to the scene about 11:35 p.m. They found Beckner lying on the ground with multiple stab wounds. An autopsy was performed Monday in Madisonville.

Anderson fled the scene, police said. He was found in Cadiz and arrested.

Witnesses told WPSD-TV that when the two men left the lodge, it appeared the argument had ended, but the men walked around the side of the building and began to fight.

Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler Steve Wallace said Beckner and Anderson were both members. Wallace said Beckner and Anderson were arguing about an incident that happened between the two many years ago.

Beckner reportedly owned a construction company in Princeton and was described as well-liked.

Anderson is employed as Princeton's water and wastewater superintendent. After the incident he was placed on unpaid administrative leave.

He appeared Monday morning in Caldwell District Court for arraignment, and a plea of not guilty was entered.

Anderson is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing May 1.

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