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'I just want my son back': Mother waits for trial in son’s murder

“They got the wrong child but they got the right mother cause I'm going to fight until the end.”

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than a year after the murder of Richard Harper, 18, his accused killer was back in a court room on Monday.

Daryl Horton, 17, is charged as an adult with the January 7, 2019 murder of Harper, who most referred to as ‘Dookie.’

Horton pleas not guilty in September 2019 after he was arrested in Ohio in August.

“Every time they bring him out I just get sick to my stomach,” Harper’s mother, Nicole Cowherd said referring to his latest court appearance.

Harper had turned 18 on December where his mother took him out to dinner and dessert.

“I never thought this would be the last candle my baby blew out,” she said holding while a picture of Dookie and his birthday cake.

Harper was shot and killed near Shawnee Park on 43rd Street near a bus stop.

“I just want my son back and I know I can't get him back,” Harper’s mother, Nicole Cowherd said.

She is anxious for answers that could soon come during the scheduled trial in August, but it’s closure she is still waiting for in her husband’s case.

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Charles Cowherd was shot and killed in 2016, and police are still working to solve the homicide.

“My family is destroyed, my family is broken,” Cowherd said.

Her pain has persisted into 2020, and a violent start to the new year has brought the same hurt to other families, too.

Louisville Metro Police are already looking into 13 murders in the new year, and this mother has a message for those pulling the trigger.

Credit: Nicole Cowherd
Richard Harper (photo provided by family)

“They've killed that whole family. One is laying in the ground, but they've killed that whole family,” she explained.

Cowherd said she refuses to let her son become another statistic.

“They got the wrong child but they got the right mother cause I'm going to fight until the end,” she said. ”I'm going to go to every court date. This city is going to remember him.”

Horton’s next pre-trial court date is scheduled for April.

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► Contact reporter Heather Fountaine at hfountaine@whas11.com and follow her on Twitter (@WHAS11Heather) and Facebook.

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