Originally created 08/20/04

Two teenagers will stay in jail



FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. - Two teenage girls accused of killing one of the girls' grandparents were denied bond Thursday.

Prosecutors argued that Sandy Ketchum, 16, and Holly Harvey, 15, should stay in jail because they are flight risks and because of the severity of the crime. Fayette County Superior Court Judge Paschal English did not explain why he denied the bond in his ruling, but he promised a speedy trial.

Ms. Harvey is accused of recruiting Ms. Ketchum, her girlfriend, to help kill Ms. Harvey's grandparents, Carl and Sarah Collier, both in their 70s, in their home Aug. 2.

Police say the elderly couple, with whom Ms. Harvey lived, had ordered her to stop seeing the girl and to stop using drugs.

The teens were arrested a day after the deaths at the home of two boys they had met on Tybee Island, about 230 miles away.

Prosecutors on Thursday added the charge of armed robbery to the murder charges the girls were facing. There was no elaboration on why the charge was added, but prosecutor Daniel Hiatt presented testimony that the girls had stolen Mr. Collier's pickup and some jewelry from the Colliers' home.

When the girls were arrested on Tybee Island, police also found four knives - three from the Colliers' butcher block and one folding buck knife - that authorities believe were used to stab the Colliers at least 15 times each, said Fayette County Sheriff's Office Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan.

A family member began crying and exclaimed, "Oh God!" after Lt. Col. Jordan explained how the Colliers were killed.

Lloyd Walker, Ms. Ketchum's attorney, said the legal system had failed his client. She has been in and out of the juvenile justice system and had even flunked drug tests with little consequence, he said.

"The evidence shows that a lot of people have failed Sandy," Mr. Walker said. "Up until now, everybody, including the state, has failed this child."

He also said she had been failed by her mother, who ignored orders that Ms. Ketchum was not supposed to have contact with Ms. Harvey.

Ms. Ketchum's eyes were puffy as she entered the courtroom. Her shackles clanked together as she occasionally wiped away tears.

Ms. Harvey rested her head on a table during the entire hearing - looking up only to speak with her attorney, Judy Chidester. The attorney later said the girl was upset that no one testified on her behalf.

Ms. Chidester acknowledged even while asking the judge to grant bond that there might be nowhere for Ms. Harvey to stay. Ms. Ketchum's father and stepmother testified that they would monitor her 24 hours a day if the girl was granted bond.