University of Kentucky student Jonathan Krueger and a companion tried to resist their assailants during an armed robbery that led to the Krueger's death, a Lexington police detective testified Thursday.
The companion, identified as Aaron Gillette, managed to get away, but Krueger was shot multiple times and later died the morning of April 17, detective Reed Bowles said in Fayette District Court.
His testimony came during a preliminary hearing for Justin D. Smith, 18, and Efrain Diaz, 20, who are charged with murder and robbery in Krueger's death. An unnamed 17-year-old juvenile also is charged in the case.
According to police, all three had weapons.
Diaz and Smith told police they think the juvenile shot Krueger, Bowles said.
After hearing the testimony, District Judge Megan Lake Thornton ordered Smith and Diaz bound over to a grand jury, which will review the charges. Juvenile cases are closed to the public.
Krueger, who was photo editor of UK's student newspaper, was shot about 2 a.m. on East Maxwell Street near Transylvania Park.
According to Bowles' testimony, Smith, Diaz and the juvenile were driving around Lexington that morning in a van when they decided to rob Krueger and Gillette, who were walking along East Maxwell. The two were on their way home, UK officials said earlier.
Two other people in the van described hearing robbery plans discussed, Bowles said.
Smith confronted Gillette, according to Bowles, and the juvenile approached Krueger.
Krueger and Gillette initially cooperated by giving up their property, Bowles testified, but they started to resist when the robbers demanded more.
Gillette told police that he tried to grab the gun held by Smith and that it discharged while they struggled, Bowles said. Gillette then ran, hearing multiple shots behind him as he fled, the officer said.
When a defense attorney asked Bowles who shot Krueger, Bowles said both Diaz and Smith told police they think it was the juvenile.
Police got one "very brief" statement from the juvenile, Bowles testified.
He said police were investigating to determine how many shots were fired. Officers recovered "multiple" bullets from Krueger's body, plus additional bullets at the scene, he said.
Diaz told police that he leaned out of the van and fired several shots, but Diaz denied being directly involved in the fatal shooting. Diaz told officers he was "heavily intoxicated" at the time, Bowles stated.
The van led police to Smith, Bowles said. Police searched for the maroon van that was seen driving away after the shooting.
After they found it, Bowles said police chased the van but had to break off the pursuit. However, they got the vehicle's license number. The vehicle was registered to Smith's mother, he said.
Officers eventually arrested Smith outside his mother's home on Le Havre Road, Bowles said.
They found property that belonged to Gillette in Smith's bedroom, Bowles said.
Police recovered a handgun that Smith acknowledged having thrown out of the van as he fled from police, Bowles said.