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Two men convicted of '92 murder fighting for new trial

Another major point of the motion names a former Louisville detective Mark Handy who first handled the case when Warford disappeared from Louisville.
Garr Keith Hardin and Jeff Clark

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Under the sun and blue skies the Warford's are still devastated after decades of grief.

"I love her so much. I miss her so much," Mary Warford, mother of Rhonda Sue Warford, said.

Rhonda Sue Warford was killed more than 20 years ago, at the age of 19.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Jeff Clark and Keith Hardin are the ones that killed Rhonda," Tammie Garrett, Warford's sister, said.

Their grief now taken to another level.

The men convicted of killing Warford are fighting for a new trial in a crime they say they didn't commit.

"I just think it's a bunch of bull," Mary Warford said.

This case goes back to 1992. Rhonda Sue was stabbed to death in a field in Meade County, Ky.

Her boyfriend, Garr Keith Hardin, and his friend Jeff Clark were tried and convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1995.

Hardin said he was immersed in a dark satanic world.

The feelings about this case run strong in both directions.

"These two boys didn't do nothing, let them go," Ginny Peak, Hardin's sister, said.

"I totally believe, I know my brother is innocent," Vickie Howser, Hardin's sister, said.

The Innocence Project is working to free the men. They filed a 133 page motion asking for a new trial. They said a hair found on

Warford does not match Hardin or Clark and say that Clark had an alibi.

And then there's this.

Convicted Kentucky murderers to get DNA tested

Another major point of the motion names a former Louisville detective Mark Handy who first handled the case when Warford disappeared from Louisville.

The motion says Handy's investigative letters and trial testimony included statements from the suspects --statements Hardin and Clark say they never made.

Handy has been the subject of other iTeam investigations and is currently under criminal investigation for his actions in another case where a man was wrongly convicted.

He testified at that trial just weeks before testifying at the trial for Hardin and Clark.

Handy declined comment for this story.

Hardin's family said this case was botched from the beginning.

Group wants DNA test in 1992 Ky. 'satanic' killing

"He was wronged. That's all I really got to say is they were both wronged," Peak said.

Or was he?

"I'm glad Keith Hardin finally spoke up last year and told the truth for once in his life," Mary Warford said.

Hardin did confess to the crime before the parole board.

He said the following: "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."

Attorneys say the confession was an attempt to be paroled not an admission of guilt.

"Forgive you, forgive you for what? If he gets out he hopes that we can forgive him! Whatever!" Garrett said.

While those from the innocence project work to free Hardin and Clark Warford's family looks towards closure.

A peace they've been searching for the last 23 years. In July there will be a hearing to decide of Hardin and Clark will get a new trial.

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