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Nightclub shooting suspect to be tried next year - Dothan Eagle: News

Nightclub shooting suspect to be tried next year

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Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 4:28 pm

An Enterprise man facing multiple capital murder charges for the deaths of three people during a shooting at an area adult nightclub won’t likely go to trial until spring 2014.

Circuit Court Judge Brad Mendheim set a tentative trial date for 24-year-old Ryan Clark Petersen on Tuesday afternoon for the spring of 2014, or more specifically sometime during the months of March, April or May of next year.

Sheriff’s investigators arrested Petersen several hours after a shooting at Teasers nightclub in Wicksburg, which happened on Aug. 9, 2012.

Investigators charged Petersen with killing 20-year Cameron Paul Eubanks, who was the nightclub owner’s son. Investigators also charged Petersen with fatally shooting 31-year-old Tiffani Paige Grissett and 59-year-old Thomas Robins Jr. inside the club.

Petersen also faces an attempted murder charge for the alleged shooting of a fourth victim, Scotty Russell, 33, of Opp.

Petersen remains held at the Houston County Jail without bail.

If convicted of the capital murder charges, Petersen faces the death penalty or life in prison without the opportunity for parole.

Petersen’s lawyers have submitted pleas of not guilty and not guilty by mental disease or defect on their client’s behalf.

Attorney Ben Freeman, who represents Petersen, told the court much of their defense involved the use mental health officials, a mitigation expert with limited availability, along with a team of people from the University of Alabama.

“As the court knows, a lot of this case is going to do with mental health issues,” Freeman said.

The court has granted requests by the defense for any records on Petersen from several local government agencies, including the Southeast Alabama (juvenile) Diversion Center and the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office. The court also granted the defense the complete copy of the involuntary commitment proceeding for Petersen from the Probate Judge’s Office of Coffee County.

Mendheim said he planned to publish a trial date in a few days for sometime in the spring of 2014, giving all parties, including any called upon experts, more than six months notice for the trial.

District Attorney Doug Valeska will prosecute the case at trial. Attorneys Chris Capps and Freeman have been appointed to represent Petersen at trial.

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