Prosecutors To Seek Death Penalty In Slayings - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Prosecutors To Seek Death Penalty In Slayings

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RUTLEDGE, Tenn. - Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty if a former police officer accused of killing two people during a drugstore robbery is convicted.

Grainger County prosecutors made the announcement Tuesday as 37-year-old Jason Bryan Holt was arraigned.

Holt was charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, attempted murder, especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and possession of a gun during a felony.

The charges stem from the May 23 holdup of a Bean Station pharmacy that left owner Stephen Lovell and customer Alexander Sommerville dead. Investigators said both men had knelt as Holt told them to do before they were fatally shot.

Two other pharmacy employees who were shot survived.

Authorities said oxycodone pills were taken in the robbery. When police caught Holt a short time later, they recovered pills and a revolver.

Holt had worked as a Bean Station police officer and as a deputy with the Grainger County Sheriff's Office. He was placed on medical leave in 2004.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported Holt will enter a plea at a later hearing.

(NewsChannel5 and The Associated Press.)

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