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Suspects in Court for Murder of 19-year-old
COVINGTON, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- Six murder suspects all under the age of 21 all crowd into a Covington courtroom Monday afternoon.
This is an intriguing case for a couple of reasons.
The victim, Desean Peterson, was a well-known athlete at Holmes High School and musician who had taken to the streets. A total of eight people are charged in his death; seven with murder which is highly unusual.
You needed a scorecard in court Monday afternoon to keep track of who was doing what but here's the thumbnail:
18-year-old Hassan Abdullah
19-year-old Reginald Bates
20-year-old Jamell Darden
18- year-old Eugene Smith
18-year-old James Young
17- year-old juvenile Jacob Cardenas
All of these young people are charged with murder.
19-year-old Mikyle Holloway is charged with tampering with evidence and an unknown juvenile is also charged bringing the total to 8. Investigators say they were all part of a revenge scheme over a drug deal that ended in gunfire on Covington's Garrard Street last October.
19-year-old Desean Peterson was shot outside 1705 Garrard. About a dozen of his family members were in court Monday. They chose not to talk but suspect Reginald Bates' family did.
"He happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and now they got him charged with murder."
Reggie Bates says his son was not involved in the shooting and has witnesses who place him somewhere else when Peterson was killed.
"He was not in that car. He was not in the area when the shooting went down. So how can you keep this boy locked up and try to destroy his future is unbeknownst to me. Somebody telling somebody something is one thing. But having to prove it is another."
Bates is one of the few suspects who's hired a private attorney. But even if he was some place else and did not fire a weapon, there are facts that could get him charged and possibly convicted of murder.
If individuals work together for a common goal then they are complicit in the crime. And even if they don't pull the trigger, so to speak, they can be charged with murder.
Six of the suspects were scheduled for court Monday afternoon. Bates and Smith entered not guilty pleas. Because of questions about legal counsel, the other four will be back in court next week to be arraigned.
All seven adult suspects will be back in court in March.