Prosecution will seek death penalty against Bean Station shooting suspect

6:53 PM, Jun 20, 2013   |    comments
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  • Jason Bryan Holt
  • Accused shooter, Jason Holt, appeared in court on Thursday morning.

(WBIR-Rutledge) A former police officer charged with killing two people and injuring two others in a shooting spree at a Bean Station pharmacy waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday morning.

The accused shooter, Jason Brian Holt, appeared in court at the Grainger County Justice Center for the second time since the arrest.

District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn says the state will seek the death penalty against Holt.

Because Holt did not have a preliminary hearing, his case will face a grand jury.

According to Holt's public defender, Ed Miller, the trial most likely will not happen until next year. 

Miller requested that Judge Wayne Wolfenbarger set bail at a reasonable amount.

He mentioned Holt needs special care after suffering from a traumatic brain injury and back injury from a motorcycle accident in 2003.

"Certainly that's something we're exploring. All we're going on so far is history. We've requested numerous records and feel comfortable about having to document the traumatic brain injury and of course the mental capacity of someone is always the key issue in cases of this nature," Miller said.

Dunn countered, saying, "This defendant killed those people and shot those people in order to prevent his being apprehended and/or prosecuted for this offense because he knew these folks." 

Judge Wolfenbarger denied Holt bail.

Friends and family for all four victims were in the courtroom, including Janet Clift who was shot and injured in the pharmacy shooting.

"It takes a lot of courage to go through this process, period. And each time they come down here, it takes a lot of courage. But they're seeking justice for their loved ones and I'm going to stand beside them as they seek that justice," said Terry Wolfe, Bean Station mayor.

Holt's case will face a grand jury on September 17 at 9 a.m.

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