YAKIMA, WA.--A man that's forever changed the community of Yakima got his turn to speak.
"I didn't kill your friends, neither of them," said Kevin Harper. "I wasn't there on the property or anywhere around the property the night they died."
Harper was once the main suspect in the brutal bludgeoning deaths of Bettye, Bill, and Pauline Goggin in their gated West Valley home in 2011. But new evidence changed the timeline of the murders exonerating harper.
In a plea deal last year, Harper pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property. Authorities have since tried to re-open the case and reinstate murder charges against Harper. However, the court denied that request and on Tuesday, Harper was sentenced to the two lesser charges.
Friends and neighbors of the Goggins' asked the judge to give Harper the maximum sentence, explaining that this crime has forever taken away their sense of safety.
"It's people like Kevin Harper that has caused this community to not be safe to live in anymore," said Roxann Faulconer, a friend of the Goggin family.
Yakima County Judge Ruth Reukauf told Harper that because of his past criminal record of theft and habitual meth addiction, she is giving him the maximum sentence. He will serve more than 9 and 1/2 years in prison.
"No it's not final," said Raymond Vanderwall, close friend to the Goggin family. "I mean we still have three friends and neighbors that were brutally beaten by an evil person. I don't know who that evil person is. I have a suspicion, but I don't know who it is."
As friends of Harper watched him leave the courtroom they stood firmly by his side.
NBC Right Now asked, "Do you think he could have brutally killed three people?"
"Absolutely not," said Raven Cutler, a good friend of Harper.
"I don't think he could have done it," said Jim Harrah, friend to Harper. "I don't think he had it in his heart."
"For those who really know Kevin, know he didn't do that so it eats us up alive that he's up there, and that he's going through what he's going through," said Cutler.
So far, no one has been held accountable for taking three innocent lives, but friends said they won't give up until the Goggin family has justice.