Prefix "Пред-" emhasizes the idea of something being done before the action was performed itself. Like "условие" and "предусловие". "Условие выполнения чего-то" - it is something you should do in order to achieve something. While "предусловие выполнения чего-то" - it is something you should do even before starting the main action, some preparations, etc.
So while "намеренный" and "преднамеренный" both mean intentional, the latter also assumes that was made not only intentially but had some "history". Like "намеренная кража из магазина" can mean that some individual saw something while being in the shop and decided to steal it, while "преднамеренная" may also imply that the individual walked in the shop already having an intention to steal something.
Similar for killing - the individual may kill someone because of doing something in the wrong way (e.g. because of a car accident), because he/she had no intention to kill, but they did something that is potentially dangerous (like a bar brawl) and the killing had happened, or because he or she wanted to kill exactly this particular person and made some preparations for this. The latter will be "преднамеренное убийство".
As the prepared and planned actions usually have more strict punishment the prosecutors are interested in proving that every time the law is breaked the individual did this with all necessary preparations, while defenсe is interested in proving that the act was an impulse or because of affect, etc. - not planned at all, or without conscious decisions made. So the word "преднамеренный" serves well for prosecutors because it emphasizes the idea of prepared action.
So it is not because "пред-" means "evil", but because it was planned or prepared.
In usual life it is rarely needed to make the precise distinction between "намеренный" and "преднамеренный", so they can be used as synonyms most of the time.