Death penalty still on the table for accused Bean Station pharma

Death penalty still on the table for accused Bean Station pharmacy shooter

Posted:
Jason Holt is accused of killing two people and injuring two others in May of last year while robbing the Down Home Pharmacy in Bean Station. Jason Holt is accused of killing two people and injuring two others in May of last year while robbing the Down Home Pharmacy in Bean Station.
Holt has been charged with first degree felony murder in the shooting deaths of Down Home Pharmacy owner Stephen Lovell and customer Richard Sommerville. Holt has been charged with first degree felony murder in the shooting deaths of Down Home Pharmacy owner Stephen Lovell and customer Richard Sommerville.
The judge ruled that surveillance video from the pharmacy of the incident would be allowed in to trial as evidence. (source: Bean Station Police Dept.) The judge ruled that surveillance video from the pharmacy of the incident would be allowed in to trial as evidence. (source: Bean Station Police Dept.)

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

RUTLEDGE (WATE) - The man accused of a deadly shooting at a Grainger County pharmacy is still facing the death penalty despite a request to get it off the table.

Jason Holt is accused of killing two people and injuring two others in May of last year while robbing the Down Home Pharmacy in Bean Station.

Previous story: 2 killed, 2 seriously injured in Bean Station pharmacy shooting

6 News was in the courtroom Tuesday as the judge denied the defense's request to strike down the death penalty during a motions hearing that lasted more than two hours. The judge also went over dozens of records to decide what could be allowed in to the trial as evidence.

The victims' families packed the courtroom hugging each other for comfort. When Jason Holt entered, he avoided eye contact with the victims' side if the courtroom.

Holt has been charged with first degree felony murder in the shooting deaths of Down Home Pharmacy owner Stephen Lovell and customer Richard Sommerville. Holt is also charged with two counts attempted first degree murder. Investigators say two pharmacy workers were also shot during the robbery of prescription pills from the pharmacy. 

The judge again denied the defense's request to strike down the death penalty. The judge also went over which audio tapes from phone calls made by holt in jail would be allowed. The judge ruled that surveillance video from the pharmacy of the incident would be allowed in to trial as evidence. The judge also determined which crime scene and autopsy photos the jury would be allowed to see.

The state made a case for why some pictures are relevant to prove their case.

"Items were recovered along the way from the pharmacy to the next road. Items were recovered in that area and items were recovered in the barn which is in the middle of the picture there," said Holt.

Holt's attorney has said in court that Holt was suffering from brain damage after a motorcycle accident 10 years ago.

The next motions hearing is scheduled for September 4 at 9 a.m. to suppress defendant's statements.

September 30 is the trial date.

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