An argument over a beer turned deadly late Saturday afternoon when a West Babylon man stabbed his brother to death inside the house they shared with their elderly father, police said.
John Beaumont, 54, pleaded not guilty Sunday at his arraignment in Central Islip to the fatal stabbing a day earlier of his brother Thomas, 57.
He was accused by prosecutors of stabbing his brother once in the neck and once in the chest after their argument escalated to a fight.
Police said Beaumont called officers to the brothers' Densfield Road home at 5:33 p.m. Saturday to report that he had stabbed his brother.
The Beaumonts' father, 86, who lived with the brothers, was at home during the stabbing but was not injured.
"He said he is innocent and is willing to testify before the grand jury," said John Beaumont's attorney, Richard Stafford of Bohemia.
Neighbors said they heard arguments coming from the house, and friends said the brothers were known to fight after consuming alcohol, but they always made up at the end.
"We've heard arguments but nothing violent," said Matthew Rorke, 46, who lives across the street.
His wife, Michelle Rorke, 42, described John Beaumont as a neighbor often seen doing landscaping and gardening around the home, oftentimes with his father, Thomas Beaumont Sr., watching closely at the front door of the house.
"From what I know, he was a very nice man," she said of John Beaumont. Rorke described Thomas Beaumont as a loner who waved hello but kept neighbors at arm's length.
Sunday afternoon, Mary and Russell Frank, of West Babylon, stopped by the Beaumonts' home because they wanted to know about funeral arrangements.
No one answered the door at the home for the Franks or a reporter and attempts to contact the family were unsuccessful.
The couple have known the Beaumont family for 40 years, but said they were closest to Thomas Beaumont, who took part in their wedding as an usher in 1982.
They described him as a great friend who loved his friends.
Said Russell Frank of the news that Thomas Beaumont was fatally stabbed while arguing with his brother over what prosecutors allege was beer: "We were shocked, but they were always fighting because they were drinking."
Stafford said prosecutors have until Friday to present their case to a grand jury.