Judge denies suspect’s request for lower bail

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A teen charged with crimes involving a shooting death of a friend was back in court Wednesday.

Matthew McKetta asked for a judge to lower his $500,000 bail to $30,000.

McKetta has been behind bars since his arrest in July 21, 2017 in Ferry County, Washington.

He’s facing multiple counts including involuntary manslaughter and armed robbery.

McKetta and another defendant, Kegan Tennant are both charged with crimes involving the homicide of another teen, Tim Reeves.

According to court documents, the three went on a camping trip with two other teens. Tennant and Reeves were playing a Russian Roulette-style game, a witness told Whitman County Sheriff’s detectives. Tennant is accused of shooting Reeves, then shooting at another teen.

Reeves’ mother also addressed the judge.

“I feel that a lot of excuses are being made,” she said. “And I just feel that his bail should not be reduced.”

Several people testified on his behalf, asking Latah County District Court Judge John Judge for a reduced bail to what they said McKetta could afford.

But McKetta’s adopted father, mother, and therapist told the court that when McKetta has been in trouble in the past, he has always returned to his parents.

They also argued that because of McKetta’s PTSD and developmental disabilities, along with his behavioral issues, his bail should be lowered.

Prosecuting attorney Bill Thompson argued that based on McKetta’s history with law enforcement, which includes offenses as a juvenile, and his attempt to flee the country after the alleged killing of Reeves, McKetta poses a high risk to society.

“He fled. And it wasn’t like he fled to a friend’s house until he settled his fear down,” Thompson said. “He fled trying to leave the country. He left the state.”

Thompson said that is the best predictor to how he’s going to react and how he is reacting to this case and these charges.”

Judge John Judge denied the request for a lower bail amount, and added conditions for drug and alcohol use if his bail is met.

All of McKetta’s charges are felonies.

Thompson said McKetta can face decades if not longer in prison if convicted.

Tennant also remains behind bars with a $500,000 bail.

The preliminary hearing is set to start on October 26.

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