Kenneth Harvey arrived in court Wednesday for his preliminary hearing. He is the last of eight suspects arrested for the deadly drug deal on Skyline Road in Madison.
He had a nervous look on his face, biting his lip and looking down at times. He sat in front of Judge Patricia Demos as his lawyer told his side of the story on what happened the night Luke Pratt died.
He said Harvey and his friends were partying in Athens when some of them started to talk about pulling a "lick" or robbery. His lawyer claims Harvey said he wasn't down to do the robbery, but had money to buy dope.
His lawyer said Harvey had bought drugs from one of the victims before, and didn't know about his friends' robbery plan, something the prosecution doesn't buy.
"There's no way that these people didn't know what was being talked about so the, 'We were just going to buy some more weed,' is not a really plausible excuse," the prosecutor in this case, Shauna Barnett, said.
She says the case is unique because of the nature of the crime and the number of defendants.
"It's a complicated case with so many, there's not usually this many defendants," she said. "It is a little bit different because of the age of them and just the brutalness for no reason," she said
Harvey says he stayed in the car the night Pratt was stabbed to death, but did admit to buying a gun a couple of days prior. He said his friends asked if they could use his gun for the robbery, and his backpack with the gun inside it was stolen that night.
According to Harvey, he fled to Florida after the murder because he was scared. Police arrested him about a month later at a relative's house.
Barnett said it took so long to catch him because people kept alerting him ahead of police.
"He absolutely knew we were looking for him, and his dog," she said.
The judge found probable cause to send his case to the grand jury. Harvey is charged with first-degree murder and burglary. His co-defendants are charged with capital murder.
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