Hardy's react to son's 20-year sentence

Published: Sep. 27, 2016 at 6:49 PM CDT
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The parents of the man who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder Monday talks exclusively to 13news.

Michael Drew Hardy was convicted of murder for an auto wreck that killed Jeremy Pryor almost two years ago. Tuesday Drew's parents talked with us for the very first time.

The first thing Mike and Pam Hardy wanted to do was tell Jeremy Pryor's family how deeply they mourn for him. "We want to, as the Hardy family," said Pam, "tell the Pryor family, that we are deeply, our sympathy for them has been so deep for the past year-and-a-half, that we have mourned for Jeremy."

And the Hardy's believe their son Drew should be held accountable, but they feel a murder conviction and a 20-year sentence are extreme. "We was willing to take second degree manslaughter," said Mike Hardy, "or reckless homicide, but it was never offered to us, as it was other people in the past." Those other people Mike Hardy is referring to are Kathy Keller and Ivan Vidakovic, both of whom were also convicted for fatal DUI crashes. Keller got 12 years in prison; Vidakovic was sentenced to 10.

Drew's Hardy's parents also tell us they think the prosecution had it in for their son. "I knew we were in trouble at the hearing," said Mike Hardy, "when they said they were gonna make an example out of him and put the million dollar bond on him. I just was floored. I knew they were trying to crucify Drew."

But why? Drew's father says because a lot of the people on the prosecution's side had known and liked Jeremy Pryor, and they were angry and upset that he had been killed in the crash.

Drew's mother, Pam, says during the time leading up to Drew's trial their attorney was going to help Drew visit area schools to talk to students about not doing what he had done. "He did not want this to ever happen to somebody again," said Pam Hardy. "His goal was to never let Jeremy's name be forgotten. He was gonna talk about the accident and remember him every time. And right now that's just not an option until somethin' else happens."

Pam also says there was a lot of social media talking about Drew as he left the courtroom Monday, saying he was smirking about the case. But she says that's not true. "He had seen two people in the court that he had not seen in about two or three months," Pam said, "that he was very, very close with. And when he seen 'em he just lit up! Y'know he didn't know they were gonna be there. And I just wanted to let everybody know that that's why that happened. And it wasn't bein' non-remorseful."

The Hardy's say they have already put the wheels in motion to seek an appeal of the Warren Circuit Court's ruling of murder against their son.

"I knew they were trying to crucify Drew."

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