Teenage murder suspect Alex Letkemann had no idea that his buddy planned to kill and decapitate a 26-year-old man, Letkemann''s friend told the Free Press today.

Brianna Scott, a 17-year-old senior at Churchill High School in Livonia, said Letkemann told friends that the second suspect, Jean Pierre Orlewicz, threatened his life after killing Daniel Sorensen last week in Canton.

Meanwhile, Letkemann''s parents spoke publicly Wednesday about their son, saying that the media''s portrayal of him has been unfair.

Orlewicz, 17, of Plymouth and Letkemann, 18, of Westland were arraigned Monday on first-degree murder charges in the death of Sorensen of River Rouge. Prosecutors said the pair lured Sorensen on Nov. 7 to the garage at Orlewicz''s grandfather''s home in Canton. Orlewicz is accused of stabbing Sorensen there, taking a blowtorch to his fingers and toes, sawing off his head and disposing of his head in the Rouge River.

Authorities said Sorensen was killed simply for thrill.

Letkemann''s parents, speaking in a Wednesday evening press conference, told reporters they don''t believe their son had anything to do with the crime.

"My son''s heart is gold," his crying mother, Diane Letkemann, said. "There is no doubt in my mind he would never do this."

Added her husband, Peter Letkemann: "The kid that they''re talking about on TV is not my son. My son is not capable of this."

The couple said they''ve received hundreds of phone calls and e-mails from supportive friends and parents of friends.

They also said they haven''t yet been able to see their son in jail. Peter Letkemann said he tried to visit Wednesday but was told Alex had been moved to another facility.

Trembling uncontrollably, Diane Letkemann looked into the TV cameras recording her statement and said to her son: "If you can see me now, we love you and support you."

Alex Letkemann is a typical teenager, his dad said. He said his life centers around "friends and fun and music."

In a rare moment of levity, Peter Letkemann said his son also plays music. "He tries to sing, anyway," he said with a quiet laugh.

Raymond Cassar, the Letkemann''s lawyer, said Alex is scared and confused. He said Alex had known Orlewicz for about three months before the slaying and described them as mere acquaintances.

Both maintain profile pages on the online social networking Web site MySpace.com; neither lists the other as a friend.

Orlewicz''s parents and friends have not publicly spoken about the teen known by peers as "JP."

Scott, who is friends with both Letkemann and his girlfriend, said Letkemann told friends Orlewicz called him over to help collect a debt from Sorensen.

"Alex just went over there for backup," Scott said. "He had no idea what was going to happen."

After the slaying, Scott said, that Orlewicz ordered Letkemann to help load the body into a pickup truck and threatened his life.

"Alex went to the police," she said. "He helped them solve the case."

Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor''s Office, said: "All of our evidence will be presented in court." She declined further comment.

Letkemann''s attorney, Cassar, today said that Letkemann cooperated.

"To what extent, I don''t know yet," he said.

The teens'' defense lawyers plan Thursday to ask a district judge to impose a gag order that would forbid both sides from speaking to the media about the case.