The mother of a man accused of stabbing a Tates Creek High School student called her son's actions "brave," saying he acted to protect others from a student who pulled out a handgun during a fight.
Karen Frederick, Haven Murray's mother, said her son got involved only to defend his best friend, Devin Green, who allegedly was hit in the head with a gun by William Tyler Burkhart. The fight, which police have said involved as many as six people, took place Wednesday near the baseball fields of Gainesway Park, which is near the campus for Tates Creek elementary, middle and high schools. The schools were locked down for about an hour.
"My son isn't this knife-wielding psycho," Frederick said after Murray's arraignment. Both Murray and Burk hart were arraigned Thursday afternoon in Fayette Circuit Court and pleaded not guilty.
Murray, 18, is charged with first-degree assault for allegedly stabbing Burkhart, 18. Burkhart, the son of a Lexington police detective, is charged with second-degree assault and two counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly pistol-whipping a third teen and firing the handgun "in the direction of the victim and another individual," according to an arrest report filed in Fayette District Court.
Burkhart, who has been released on bond, appeared at his arraignment Thursday on crutches. Murray appeared from the Fayette County jail via video.
At the hearing, Judge David Hayse refused to lower Murray's $5,000 bond because he failed to appear for a court hearing on an unrelated shoplifting charge.
Jim Lowry, Burkhart's attorney, declined to comment after Burkhart's arraignment. He did not return calls afterward.
A tearful Frederick, who works at a day care center, said she was disappointed that her son was still in jail, when Burkhart was released hours after his arrest.
According to court records, Burkhart was released to his mother, Lexington detective Aundria Burkhart, on a third-party bond, meaning bail was waived after Aundria Burkhart agreed to be responsible for all fees, fines and costs.
William Burkhart's bond originally was set at $5,000 on each count, according to jail records.
Burkhart does not have previous criminal charges, according to Fayette County court records. The shoplifting charge was the only other charge Murray has faced in Fayette County, according to court records.
It's not clear whether either teen had been charged before they turned 18; juvenile court records are not available to the public.
Frederick said Murray "stood up for his friends and everybody else that was around and, to me, he's getting the short end of the stick."
Green, wearing a bandage over a bloody wound on his forehead, attended the arraignment in support of Murray. He said he did not want to talk with reporters, but his mother, Kathy Green, did.
Kathy Green, who said she is a state employee, said her son might be dead if Murray had not jumped in. Devin Green has a gash on his scalp from the blow with the gun, damaged hearing from the shooting and a wound on his forehead that he doesn't know how he got, she said.
She, too, was angry that Murray's bond wasn't reduced.
"They don't see what we see: that it was self-defense," she said. "Not only did he protect my son yesterday, he protected anybody who was near that school."
The mothers were hesitant to discuss the fight in more detail for fear it could hinder the investigation. They said they did not know what started the altercation.
Burkhart is a senior at Tates Creek High. Murray and Devin Green are not enrolled at the school, but both have their GEDs, their mothers said.
Murray is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Oct. 28. Burkhart's hearing is scheduled for Nov. 4.