Friends defend local father charged with murdering his son
MASSAC COUNTY, Ill. — A man accused of killing his own son defends himself in court while his friends defend him outside.
Thursday, John Pruett was in court as his attorney asked to reduce his $1.5 million bond.
A grand jury indicted Pruett on two first degree murder charges last week. Police say Pruett shook, struck or threw his 15-month-old son Jackson in April 2010.
Accompanied by his attorney, Pruett walked into the Massac County courtroom hoping to have his bond reduced. The attorney's main argument was that Pruett has a job in Massac County, a new house and a young daughter.
Perhaps the most important point his attorney made is that he is the sole bread winner of the family and expressed concern that he may lose his job if he doesn't get out of jail soon.
The prosecution countered that the allegations are very serious and argued anyone with those charges poses a flight risk.
Inside the courtroom, Pruett was very calm. His mother on the other hand was visibly upset. During a brief recess, she wrapped her arms around him and cried while Pruett comforted her saying, "The good Lord will take care of me."
In the end, the judge ruled in Pruett's favor, reducing his bond to $500,000.
Outside the courtroom, Pruett's long-time family friend Ike Turner said this has gone on too long and Pruett needs to be set free.
"I've known him since he was a little boy and I've never known him to have a mean bone in his body at all," Turner said. "I don't understand this."
It's unclear if the Pruett family can even afford the $500,000. They'd have to pay 10 percent of that or put up property. Pruett's arraignment will be Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. in the Massac County court.