Family of disabled Louisville man beaten and robbed says teen murder suspects will get 'slap on the wrist'
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The family of an elderly, disabled man who was murdered last year says the six teenage boys accused of the killing will get off far too easy.
Lonnie Bard, 62, was savagely beaten and robbed in July 2017. Police say six teenagers jumped the man at random, snapping his neck and taking his cigarettes, money and cell phone before leaving him for dead in an alley near South 22nd Street and Stone Alley. Those six teens have since been charged as adults in the slaying.
On Monday, members of the victim's family made an emotional plea, blasting the terms of a possible plea deal that they say lets the suspects get away with murder.
"Four of them would get home incarceration as long as they lived up to their end of the bargain," MeMe Bard said. "I mean, it's heartbreaking, because it's become a trend now with the teens, the juveniles not being held responsible."
Bard said lead prosecutor Scott Drabenstadt briefed the family on the terms of the possible plea deal after a pre-trial hearing last Friday.
According to Bard, the deal on the table would reduce murder charges to complicity to murder against 15-year-old Yasin Abdulkadir, 17-year-old Joseph Foster and 18-year-olds Tyrone Cheatham and Bryan Litton. Bard said the plea agreement would allow them home incarceration and the chance to expunge their records. Markel Rice, 17, would receive the same deal but must serve time in detention due to other juvenile charges.
As part of the deal, all of them would be required to testify against now-18-year-old Tavion Miley, known as "Trigga." Court records say he continued to use Lonnie Bard's cell phone.
"To think someone could rob him, steal him from us and then still not be held accountable ... you feel like the ball has been dropped by the justice system," MeMe Bard said.
The commonwealth's attorney's office would not confirm the terms of a potential plea deal with WDRB, however, Drabenstadt indicated one was in the works during the July 15 hearing on the Bard murder case.
"It's a very, very real possibility of a speedy resolution of this situation," Drabenstadt told Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Darryl Lavery. "We're real close to a global resolution with everybody in this case."
Lonnie Bard's son Tyrone McCray said home incarceration doesn't provide justice for the heinous way his father died.
"He was my rock," McCray said. "He was leadership and guidance. He was my everything. I miss him more than anybody knows."
Bard is survived by five children, his mother and a twin sister. Together, the family hopes public pressure on the prosecution will block a plea deal and take the case before a jury.
"If trial sees fit [that] they don't get nothing, at least it went through other people rather than just one person's judgment," McCray said.
Prosecutors declined on an-camera interview, saying while the family has been briefed, this offer is not official. A plea hearing is set for July 2.
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