|Updated: 7/26/2012 5:44 pm
||Published: 7/26/2012 3:56 pm
HOT SPRING COUNTY, AR - A Hot Spring County judge ruled that three teens accused of beating a man to death last summer - for no apparent reason - will stand trial as adults.
Now-18-year-old Richard Wybark, 17-year-old Clinton Ross, and 17-year-old Timothy Norwood are charged with second degree murder in Alaskan Kevin Thornton's death. Thornton visited Hot Spring County last August.
"It's horrible," said Kelli Shields, one of the friends Thornton came to visit in Hot Spring County. "You know, it was absolutely senseless. Kevin was absolutely an amazing person. He had the biggest heart." Shields thinks Wybark, Norwood, and Ross should be brought to justice.
"I want them to pay. I want them to be in prison," she said. "You know, Kevin's never going to be back, and they need to go to jail."
Clarica Ross, Clinton's mother, says her heart goes out to Thornton's family, and it's hurting for her son as well.
"That's my baby that's, you know, charged with murder," she said. Regardless of the charge, Ross says her son is no murderer.
When asked if she thinks her son is guilty, Ross said, "no, I mean my son, he has the baddest record, but my son didn't actually have any, you know he didn't physically hit the guy that died or anything so that makes me feel a little bit better."
The judge in this case has yet to rule whether the three suspects will stand trial together. That is what's scheduled for the moment, and the trial is expected to begin in late August.