HOLLY SPRINGS, MS (abc24.com) - A Mississippi teen was in court Monday to face the people charged with trying to kill him, including his own sister.
Charles Hardeman was beaten, tied up and thrown into a lake to drown, all for $500. Monday was the first time Charles had seen his sister Ashley since her arrest. She seemed anything but sorry in court, asking a judge to lower her bond, even saying Charles would want her out of jail.
Meanwhile, he can't make sense of how she could take part in the attack that almost killed him.
"I just want to ask her what was going on that was so serious?" he asked.
Charles Hardeman's face still bears the signs of the fight he's been through the last three months.
Investigators say it was all caused by people he knew and trusted.
Those charged include Charles' sister Ashley, her boyfriend and gang member Xavier Parks, his brother Alexander Carter, also a gang member. Also charged is Gregory Jenkins, who Charles thought was a friend. Charges were dropped against Kevin Shrock after he provided proof that he was home at the time of the attack.
Charles says the four were after $500 he'd been saving. "If I'd know they were fixing to do something like that I would have given it to them," he said. "If they would have asked anyway I probably would have given it to them."
The teen doesn't remember anything about the vicious attack.
"I was in the house, went out the house - that's when they hit me, after that threw me in the lake, I don't remember anything past getting hit though."
He escaped somehow, but suffered a stroke driving for help and crashed his car headfirst into a tree. Charles says waiting to recover is the hardest part. He's still working on using his left hand.
CHARLES has regular checkups with the doctors, and physical therapy twice a week. It's been rough on his family, though. Ashley wasn't arrested for weeks after the attack.
While Charles was hospitalized, Ashley told abc24.com, "Just keep praying and talking to God about it, because whoever did it to him, it's like a smack in their face."
"Since I know she's a part of it, I want to see the legal system work everything out, just prevail because right is right, wrong is wrong," Charles said.
All are due back in court July 31. Meanwhile Charles is taking summer classes to make up for the school he missed. He plans to graduate in December and then go to college to study oceanography.