Capital murder trial won’t come in August

Published 7:28 pm Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The three-year-old capital murder case of Steve Debose was continued once again in the Pike County Circuit Court Wednesday.

The move came after a motion from Debose’s newly-appointed defense attorney requesting more time to become familiar with the case.

“His being a capital murder case in which death penalty is an option is different,” said Circuit Judge Jeff Kelley, who said while he was ready to proceed with trial he could understand the defense’s circumstances.

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Debose, 45, is accused with murdering 76-year-old Hoover James Simmons while robbing his home in February 2007.

Simmons was found dead in his home in the Bon Air subdivision on County Road 1166, just outside Troy, from what law enforcement said appeared to be caused by murder from blunt force head trauma.

Debose was the suspect charged with the crime, arrested officially April 17, 2007. But, he was first charged with possession of controlled substance the day following the murder, Februrary 23, 2007, and has been incarcerated in the Pike County Jail since that time.

Due to the capital murder charge, Debose is being held without bond.

Kelley said in court several lawyers from Pike County had been appointed to the case, but he eventually had to appoint two out-of-county lawyers to the defense.

Those were Joe Sawyer and Paul Young, both of Enterprise.

But, Kelley said after Sawyer suffered from a stroke and heart attack, David Roberson, of Daleville, was appointed.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Anderson said the prosecution objected to a continuance, but he could understand the reasons for Kelley granting it.

“I felt that motion was forthcoming,” Anderson said.

“And we agree we don’t want to try it two times.”

If the trial had been set, Debose would have gone before a Pike County Jury in August.

Instead, Kelley said he will issue a new docket, which will be heard July 27 and set for trial for August.