BILLINGS — Three of the five people charged in connection with the death of Khoen Parker appeared in Yellowstone County Juvenile Court on Thursday morning.
Jesse Ray Myers, 18, 16-year-old Andy Jack Grussing, and 16-year-old Elley Jane Graham all appeared before Judge Ashley Harada on delinquent youth petitions.
Grussing was charged with five counts, including negligent homicide. He is alleged to have caused the death of Khoen Parker by discharging a firearm in a reckless and negligent manner, according to charging documents. Prosecutors allege Parker was killed by a bullet fired by Grussing that hit the pavement before mortally wounding Parker.
Grussing was also charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, theft, riot, and obstructing a peace officer.
According to state law, the riot charge alleges a person "disturbed the peace by engaging in an act of violence or threat to commit an act of violence as a part of an assemblage of five or more persons and the act or threat resulted in injury to person."
Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Paul Vestal said during the hearing that Grussing was suspended from the Billings School District for bringing a knife and drugs to school.
Harada set bond for Grussing at $100,000. She ordered him placed under house arrest and tracked with GPS should he bond out.
“There’s definitely a little bit of anger. Especially because it doesn’t matter how old we are or what we’ve been through. We still have the ability as human beings to do the right thing and that wasn’t done in this case,” said Rachel Dehler, a family friend of the Parkers.
Dehler owns High Tide Casino and raised reward money for any tips regarding Parker's murder. She relayed the tips she received to Billings police and is now a witness for the state.
"I just felt like it was the right thing to do and felt called to it," said Dehler.
Myers, who was 17 at the time of the crime in January, was charged with four counts, including obstruction of justice, and tampering with witnesses and informants, both felonies. He was also charged with riot and obstructing a peace officer, both misdemeanors.
During the hearing, Vestal said Myers has a connection to a shooting that occurred at Lake Elmo.
Harada set his bond at $50,000 and ordered that he be put under house arrest and tracked with GPS should he bond out. He will no longer be able to work at Buck's Bar where he was a bartender, the judge said.
Graham has been charged with eight different counts, including obstruction of justice, solicitation of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, two counts of tampering with witnesses and informants, theft, riot, and obstructing a peace officer.
Prosecutors allege Graham encouraged Myers to not bring his phone to an interview with law enforcement so it could not be seized as evidence. The theft charge refers to her allegedly stealing her father's 9mm handgun, but investigators have been unable to link the firearm to Parker's death.
Harada set her bond at $75,000 and has ordered her placed under house arrest with a curfew should she bond out.
Grussing and Graham were being held at the Yellowstone Youth Services Center. Grussing's next court appearance will be on Sept. 28 while Graham's next court appearance will be on Oct. 3rd.
For Dehler, the young age of the suspects shouldn't matter. She just wants justice to be served.
"I want the best possible outcome for everyone involved. And that’s not meaning a softer sentence for anybody. Basically whatever needs to be done to bring justice for the family and for these kids to actually feel the repercussions of the severity of this situation,” Dehler said.
The two adults charged in the case, Jerral Lee Brady, 18, and 36-year-old Juel Rebecca Graham, are scheduled to appear for arraignment Friday in Yellowstone County District Court.