Men claim wrongful conviction in murder

Men say they were wrongly accused in murder

MEADE CO., Ky. (WHAS11) -- Keith Hardin and Jeff Clark's lives took a dramatic turn in 1995, and they hoped for another one on August 4, 2016.

“I was hoping I would get to walk out of here with my brother, me and my sister and he could go home with us,” said Ginny Peak, Hardin’s sister.

But Peak will have to wait longer to see if she will soon see her brother Keith out of jail.

“Totally broken hearted. I just can't believe this is happening,” said Peak.

In 1995, Hardin and Clark were convicted of murdering Hardin's girlfriend Rhonda Sue Warford in Meade County, Kentucky.

They said they didn't do it and now the Innocence Project has been working to free them.

Two weeks ago a judge tossed out their convictions and said they should get a new trial after DNA evidence didn't match the suspects, and the credibility of a detective's statements have been questioned.

At a bond hearing Thursday morning the men were hoping that same judge would set a bond and they'd be released but the judge instead will issue a written order in the coming days.

“They have good roots in the community. Their family stuck by them for 20 years, so in my judgement this is a great case for setting bond,” said Attorney Barry Scheck, who is one of the co-founders of the Innocence Project.

Prosecutors at the time said the suspects were involved in satanic worship and killed Warford as part of a ritual.

"Is there enough evidence to move forward to a new trial?" asked WHAS 11’s Renee Murphy.


“Well, you know they were convicted before, and now we have, in addition to the evidence they had before they were convicted by a Meade County jury before, and in addition to the evidence we have a confession,” said prosecutor David Williams.

"Well, I don't want to say the devil made me do it, you know, and try to put it off on somebody else like that, but at the same time, I don't know, cause we were sitting there drinking and doing drugs, and the next thing I know, we've got her and start killing her," said Hardin during a parole board hearing.

Defense attorneys said Hardin only made that confession to the parole board in hopes of being released.

"Do you believe that they are guilty?" asked Murphy.

“Yes ma'am,” said Williams.

"No question in your mind?" asked Murphy.

“No ma'am,” said Williams.

Hardin and Clark's family said today wasn't what they had hoped but said the men haven't lost hope.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment