Friends remember Bryan Stevenson as his alleged killer is put on trial

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The murder trial begins Wednesday for the suspect accused of killing a Northern Kentucky man in 2010.

Justin Werner will face a Jefferson County jury almost two years to the day of Bryan Stevenson's death. Werner is charged with the beating death of the Scott High School graduate. Bryan died of head trauma sustained during a fight outside a Louisville restaurant in May 2010.

Bryan's father, Bob Stevenson, told 9 News he's hoping the trial will answer the many questions he says surrounds his son's death. He says he feels deeply Werner should be convicted.

"Someone killed my son. Someone needs to pay for it," Bob said.

Jeff Setters grew up playing baseball with Bryan.

"I just want closure for his parents, because it's been really rough on them. It's taken a pretty good toll. I just want it for the family, just to finally have at least one person that they can say that's behind bars for him being dead," Setters said.

Setters says after Bryan's death, he and other friends tried finding new ways to keep his memory alive.

"He way my best friend, " said Setters. "The guy literally was the life of the party, he was always making people laugh, always dancing. He was probably the best guy I knew."

They created the Bryan Stevenson Scholarship Fund, helping Scott High School students. In April, they hosted a baseball tournament to raise money for the fund.

On June 2, the 2012 Bryan Stevenson Invitational will be held at The Willows at the Kenton County Golf Club in Independence.

"We started it just to keep his name alive, just to have a place where all his friends can come around and kind of remember him by, and it's always been close to Memorial Day to just kind of remember, or bring back, what did happen," said Setters.

Bob says in the two years since Bryan's death he's learned a lot about his son, including how many people cared about him. He says the tournaments are something the community can remember Bryan by for a long time.

"What greater legacy could be left?" Bob said. "Every year, I have something to look forward to as a father."

The trial starts Wednesday morning in a Jefferson County courtroom. The trial is expected to last several days.

Two of the men originally charged in Bryan's murder have made a plea deal and agreed to testify against Werner.

It's unclear if Werner will testify in the case.

For more information on the 2012 Bryan Stevenson Invitational, email StevensonInvitational@hotm .

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