Prosecutor won't seek death penalty for Ryan Frederick

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Prosecutor won't seek death penalty for Ryan Frederick

Post  Jennie on Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:43 am

Special prosecutor Paul Ebert informed the court Thursday that he will not seek the death penalty against Ryan Frederick, the 28-year-old Chesapeake man accused of killing a city detective.

Frederick is charged with capital murder, use of a firearm during the commission of murder and manufacturing marijuana. He is accused of fatally shooting Detective Jarrod Shivers on the night of Jan. 17 while Shivers and more than a dozen other officers executed a drug search warrant.

Shivers, a 34-year-old father of 3, was standing near Frederick's home in the 900 block of Restart Ave., when he was shot, police said.

Ebert said his decision was based on Frederick’s age and lack of a criminal record. Ebert noted that Shivers was hit by only one shot, which he said would not constitute the "aggravated battery" needed in a death penalty case .

State law requires a prosecutor to disclose before a trial begins whether he will seek the death penalty against someone charged with capital murder. Ebert informed the court of his decision during a conference call from Northern Virginia. He also set 3 tentative dates for motion hearings in the case.

He said there has been much speculation about the case and that the public will be surprised by the facts when they come out during the trial. Frederick's lawyer, James Broccoletti, could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Ebert, the commonwealth's attorney from Prince William County, was appointed to prosecute the case because local prosecutors had worked closely with Shivers. Chesapeake Commonwealth’s Attorney Nancy Parr sought an outside prosecutor to avoid any perceived appearance of conflict or bias by her office.

Frederick remains in jail without a bond. In a jail interview earlier this year, Frederick said he fired two shots through his door at what he feared were intruders that night.

The 2 shots were fired through the front door as officers were using a battering ram on it . One shot from a .380-caliber handgun hit Shivers, an 8-year police veteran.

After the shooting, police returned with a 2nd search warrant and seized a Bersa "Firestorm" .380-caliber handgun, 2 .380 bullet casings, 1 .223-caliber bullet casing, a Samsung TV, a broken wooden door, pry bar, battering ram, a shoe and flash light.

The .223-caliber shell was entered into the National Integrated Ballistics Information Nework and could not be matched, according to lab results . Police have said they did not return fire during the raid.

(source: The Virginian-Pilot)
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