Death penalty sought for cop accused in pharmacy killings

Death penalty sought for former Bean Station cop accused in pharmacy killings

Posted: Updated:
Jason Brian Holt (source: Grainger County Sheriff's Office) Jason Brian Holt (source: Grainger County Sheriff's Office)
Jason Holt is charged with stealing eight bottles of prescription pills, then shooting four people last May in the Down Home Pharmacy on Highway 25E in Bean Station. Jason Holt is charged with stealing eight bottles of prescription pills, then shooting four people last May in the Down Home Pharmacy on Highway 25E in Bean Station.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

RUTLEDGE (WATE) - A former police officer accused of killing two people and injuring two others at a Bean Station pharmacy was indicted Tuesday by a Grainger County grand jury.

Jason Holt is charged with stealing eight bottles of prescription pills, then shooting four people last May in the Down Home Pharmacy on Highway 25E in Bean Station.

Pharmacy owner Stephen Lovell and a customer, Richard Sommerville, died in the shooting. Alexia Wilson and Janet Clift survived.

District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn filed paperwork to formally seek the death penalty in the case.

For that reason, Holt will be appointed two attorneys.

A plea date has been set for December 2.

Defense attorney Ed Miller has not denied Holt was the shooter, but told the court in a preliminary hearing that Holt suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident ten years ago.

Sommerville's son-in-law, Robert Frick, told 6 News he and his family are pleased with the state's decision to seek the death penalty.

"I believe a life for life," said Frick. "I mean you take a life I believe they should take his life. Some other people may not feel that way, but that's the way we feel in our family."

He says the last few months have been a struggle for him and his family.

"My son and I we were outside working on our pontoon boat the other day and he broke down crying because he said Pop-Pop is not going to be there to go out on the boat with us," said Frick.

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