Samson Mayor Arrested on Stabbing Charges

Residents and business owners in Samson appear to be in a state of shock. Mayor Clay King in his third-term in office would be the subject of a manhunt.

At around 2AM Friday morning, King reportedly stabbed Stephen Oates in the room of a DeFuniak Springs motel. At last report, the Chancellor resident is undergoing surgery in a Crestview area hospital:

Lt. Bill Chapman, with the DeFuniak Springs Police Dept. said, "The mayor of Samson was at the motel. His wife was at the motel, along with a guy she was with there. The mayor and the guy got into a struggle sending him to the hospital."

King has been mayor since 1996, and prior to that, he held a council seat in Samson.

Folks know and respect Clay King. Several tell News 4 it's a nightmare, and simply not true.

Samson Resident Ann Russell said, "He's been a good guy. My daughter went to school with his three children; this is all too hard to believe."

Loreen Carr, another Samson resident said, "The man has always been here for the residents, he's done a lot of good. This is unbelievable, especially here in Samson."

Mayor King turned himself over to authorities. He is reportedly being processed at the Walton County Jail on charges stemming from the early morning stabbing incident.

At last report, the victim, Stephen Oates, was listed in critical condition.