Friday, Aug. 13, 2004
Murder suspect attended Newnan High
By JOHN MUNFORD
One of Sandra Ketchums high school chums describes her as a nice girl and a good friend, a far cry from the accused coconspirator in the violent killings of two Fayette County grandparents last week.
Missy, whose last name is being withheld by The Citizen, went to Newnan High School in Coweta County with Sandy last year and said Sandy is one of her best friends. Missy befriended Sandy before school one day in the spring after noticing she wasnt talking to anybody.
The two became fast friends, spending the night at each others homes and talking on the phone, a lot, Missy said. During a three-month period earlier this year, they spent time together every day at some point, Missy said.
Naturally, Missy said, she was shocked to learn that Sandy was accused of helping Holly Ann Harvey murder Harveys grandparents in a violent altercation at their north Fayette home last week.
Shes a really neat friend, Missy said. I dont know how this really could happen.
Missy said Sandy and Holly had run away together this summer and Sandys stepmother wanted to press criminal charges from the incident.
Previously, Sandy had been living with her father and step-mom, but in June she went to live with her mother, from whom she had been real distant until recently, Missy said.
Sandys attorney, Lloyd Walker, noted that Tim Ketchum and Sandys stepmother raised Sandy with significant input from her aunt. Walker would not comment on Sandys latest living situation just prior to the killings, however.
Missy said she was unsure where Sandys mother lived, but she knew Sandy was enrolled at Newnan High again this year.
When Sandy moved in with her mom at the end of June, it became more difficult for her and Missy to keep in touch, partly because her mother didnt have a phone, Missy noted.
Missy found out about the murder charges from her mother, who called her while she was at a friends house.
When I found out I was freaking out, Missy said. The incident has so upset Missy that she still cries herself to sleep at night, worried about her friend and what led her to help Holly kill the Colliers.
Its, like, so astonishing to me, Missy said.
Another of Sandys acquaintances from Newnan High, Alli (last name also withheld), said the now-accused killer was the kind of person that if you needed a friend or someone to talk to, she was there.
She was the kind of person that you could talk to for hours on the phone, Alli said.
Missy said she would often talk on the phone with Sandy and Holly at the same time in 3-way calls. She recalled Holly once telling her that she didnt like her grandparents, but that was all she could remember.
Police say Holly tried to acquire a gun before she and Sandy stabbed her grandparents, Carl and Sarah Collier, to death in their north Fayette home last Monday. Both victims were stabbed over 15 times, with Sarah Collier stabbed many more times than that, police said.
Sandy Ketchum, who Missy knew as a sweet girl at Newnan High School, now sits in a juvenile detention center, charged with four counts of murder for the Colliers deaths. The chief detective on the case, Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan, said it was apparent that Holly was the ringleader and Sandy was in it for the love.
Sandy has been cooperating with police, leading to the possibility that she could face a somewhat lighter sentence than Holly, who planned the killings, police said.
Copyright 2004-Fayette Publishing, Inc.