The death penalty will remain an option in the case against Jeremy Demar, the man accused of killing two Fort Campbell soldiers in 2017 in Oak Grove, following a hearing in Christian Circuit Court Tuesday.
Demar is represented by defense attorney Audrey Woosnam, who entered several motions related to the death penalty. The first motion contended it is unconstitutional, both in Kentucky and the United States, and she cited several statistics including public perception, amount of people who have been sentenced to death and more.
Circuit Judge John Atkins says until the Kentucky Supreme Court rules the capital punishment law unconstitutional, he has to find the death penalty constitutional in this case.
Woosnam says there have been too many issues discovered with the death penalty procedure that have not been fixed, including cases concerning the mentally ill and those under 21 years of age, along with poor reporting and a lack of capital defense lawyers.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Lynn Pryor rebutted that Demar doesn’t fall into any of those categories and the Supreme Court is working to address those concerns. She says if Demar is convicted in the murders of Priscilla East and Christopher Hoch, then she believes the death penalty is an appropriate option of punishment.
Judge Atkins denied both motions to exclude the death penalty and then continued the hearing until October 11, allowing both the defense and the Commonwealth more time to file motions concerning evidence. He also intends to rule on a motion from the defense looking to exclude gunshot residue from evidence at that time, which Woosnam contends was obtained through a warrantless search.