DA to seek death penalty in Bean Station pharmacy shooting

DA to seek death penalty in Bean Station pharmacy shooting

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Jason Holt enters the courtroom Thursday. Jason Holt enters the courtroom Thursday.
Bean Station Mayor Terry Wolfe said, "They're seeking justice for their loved ones, and I'm going to stand beside them as they seek that justice." Bean Station Mayor Terry Wolfe said, "They're seeking justice for their loved ones, and I'm going to stand beside them as they seek that justice."
The Down Home Pharmacy where the shooting took place remains closed. The Down Home Pharmacy where the shooting took place remains closed.

RUTLEDGE (WATE) - District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said Thursday that he will seek the death penalty for the man accused of killing two and injuring two others at a pharmacy shooting in Bean Station.

Former police officer Jason Holt is accused of entering the Down Home Pharmacy on Highway 25E in Bean Station in late May, stealing prescription pills and then shooting four people.

Pharmacy owner Stephen Lovell and a customer, Richard Sommerville, were shot and killed.

Alexia Wilson and Janet Clift were also shot. They survived.

In court on Thursday, Holt waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The case will now go to the grand jury.

Holt's defense attorney, Ed Miller, didn't deny that his client was the shooter.

Miller instead told the court that a motorcycle accident ten years ago severely damaged Holt's brain.

"He has a brain that's deteriorating and will soon render him basically helpless," said Miller.

He adds the proof will be presented at trial.

Miller said, "From what you read in the papers, this is all about drugs. This is not the typical type thing you see in these robberies that are motivated by drugs, so we're exploring issues with regard to his mental capacity."

Meanwhile, Dunn confirmed this would be a capital murder trial.

Dunn noted that eight bottles of pills were taken from the pharmacy before the shooting.

He said that Holt knew the victims and killed them in order to avoid being identified as the shooter.

Bean Station Mayor Terry Wolfe escorted the victim's families to the hearing.

Wolfe said, "Each time they come down here it takes a lot of courage. They're seeking justice for their loved ones, and I'm going to stand beside them as they seek that justice."

At the end of the court appearance, the judge denied Holt bail, agreeing with the prosecutor that he remains a danger to the community.

The grand jury will convene to decide the charges against Holt on Sept. 17.

Meanwhile, the Down Home Pharmacy remains closed.

Lovell's family said they do plan to open again in the future.

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