"If I could trade places today, to bring them back, I would."
Emotions ran high today as Judge Ruth Reukauf handed Kevin Harper a 9 year prison sentence this morning.
Harper was once the prime suspect in the death of Bill, Pauline and Bettye Goggin -- and now, that case is once again back to square one.
"We still have three friends and neighbors that were brutally beaten by an evil person," said Goggin family friend Raymond Vanderwall.
Harper was formerly accused of killing the Goggins back in 2011.
The case came to a hault when he accepted a plea deal from prosecutors last year, pleading guilty to first degree possession of a firearm and second degree possession of stolen property.
In exchange, the three murder charges would be dropped, as well as accessory charges against his wife.
Two other suspects would later be acquitted of related charges as well.
At the time, prosecutors claimed a change in the timeline of the murders precipitated the plea agreement.
Prosecutors then returned with evidence they claim violated Harper's cooperation agreement and could be used against him in trial.
However the attempt was struck down by Judge Reukauf, citing multiple missteps in the past by prosecutors and investigators.
Friends and family from both parties got the chance to address the court, including Harper.
"If I could trade places today, to bring them back, I would," said Harper, "Because you guys are not the only ones that lost your loved ones; I've lost my kids now, I've lost my mom, I've lost my dad, I've lost my family."
"For those who really know Kevin, no he didn't do that," said Harper's longtime friend, Raven Cutler, "It eats us alive that he's up there and he's going through what he's going through."
Kevin Harper was the fourth and final suspect in those murders fully acquitted of the crime.
Now, more than 2 and a half years later, friends and family are left still wondering what happened that night, and who is reponsible for the Goggin's deaths?
"Even at that, if they were to bring someone and convict that person of the crime," said Vanderwall, "We still don't have our friends."
Harper has already spent two and a half years in custody, which will be credited toward his 9 year sentence.