Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger pled not guilty on Thursday to a laundry list of felony charges in Ross County Common Pleas Court, including five counts of capital murder punishable by the death penalty.
Holsinger appeared in court before Judge Michael Ater in Chillicothe Thursday morning, represented by appointed counsel Kirk McVay, a death penalty certified attorney with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office, and attorney John R. Cornely, director of the Ross County branch of the Ohio Public Defender’s Office.
According to online court records, Holsinger’s defense team on Thursday entered more than a dozen motions and requests, including a motion for appropriation of funds for a defense investigator, defense mitigation expert and consulting defense psychologist, motions requesting evidence, a motion to extend the time for filing pre-trial motions and a motion to permit Holsinger to appear in civilian clothing without restraints at all proceedings.
Holsinger’s bond was set at $1 million although he is already incarcerated for related crimes in Highland County.
The next court date in the case is set for 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19.
Contacted Thursday, McVay and Cornely both declined to comment on the case.
As reported by The Times-Gazette earlier this week, Holsinger was indicted by a Ross County grand jury in November on five counts of aggravated murder, capital violations punishable by the death penalty, one count of attempted murder, one count of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated burglary, all first degree felonies, and one count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony.
According to the indictment, all five of the murder charges relate to the death of Paul O. Robertson, a 79-year-old man who was shot and killed in Ross County on the Fourth of July. The five separate charges were filed due to multiple specifications contained within each charge related to other acts or violations allegedly undertaken in the course of the alleged murder.
Earlier that evening, Holsinger shot and killed Steven Mottie Jr., 35, in a home near Greenfield — a crime to which he pled guilty in September in Highland County Common Pleas Court. It is not apparent why Holsinger shot Mottie Jr.
According to court documents, Holsinger assaulted Mottie Jr.’s father, Steven Mottie Sr., then took his money and debit card, and left the home with a woman who had been with him for part of the evening.
Ross County Prosecutor Matthew Schmidt told The Times-Gazette that Holsinger and Jessie Lytle, an acquaintance, later stopped to obtain drugs in Lytle’s car, and afterward, Holsinger reportedly tricked Lytle into getting out of the vehicle by asking him if he wanted to shoot Holsinger’s pistol.
“It was absolutely a ruse to get him out of the car so (Holsinger) could shoot him and take the car,” Schmidt said. Holsinger allegedly shot Lytle six times, and Lytle fled into the woods, Schmidt said.
Eventually, Holsinger ended up at Robertson’s home, where he allegedly shot and killed him before forcing Robertson’s fiance back into the house at gunpoint, according to Schmidt. Schmidt said the gross sexual imposition charge was filed because Holsinger allegedly sexually assaulted the woman in the home.
Holsinger was later apprehended in Franklin County.
The shootings happened just one day after the funeral of Holsinger’s father, who died in a freak accident June 28 after being struck by a wheel that flew off a homemade trailer near Greenfield, as reported by The Times-Gazette.
Also reported by The Times-Gazette, Holsinger was sentenced to approximately 26 years to life in prison in September after pleading guilty to murder and aggravated robbery charges here. He was incarcerated at the Lebanon Correctional Institution before being indicted in Ross County.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.
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