The Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday in Jefferson City in convicted killer David Hosier’s death penalty appeal.
Hosier was convicted of first degree murder and was sentenced to death for the September 2009 killing of Angela Gilpin in Jefferson City. Court documents say Hosier was having an affair with Gilpin, who was a married woman.
Hosier, who’s now 64, is also suspected of killing Angela’s husband Rodney during the 2009 incident. However, Hosier has not gone to trial for the second murder.
The court documents say Hosier was captured after the 2009 murders in Oklahoma, after urging Oklahoma officers to shoot him “and get it over with.”
The court documents indicate Oklahoma authorities found 15 guns inside Hosier’s vehicle, along with numerous forms of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, gloves, a homemade police baton and a knife.
The state Supreme Court heard about 40 minutes of oral arguments in the case on Tuesday. Hosier’s public defender, Amy Bartholow, is asking for a new trial, saying Hosier’s trial counsel was ineffective.
“We’d also ask, in the alternative, for a new penalty phase where David can show, through mental health testimony, mental health expert testimony, why he deserved to live,” Bartholow says.
Counselor Bartholow tells the Supreme Court that Hosier’s trial counsel should have called a psychiatrist at trial to testify about a stroke and brain damage that Hosier had suffered.
“She (the trial counsel) didn’t read a report about the MRI, she never talked to a doctor about the MRI,” says Bartholow. “And we’ve placed that in the record because it shows that David’s brain is dead in places.”
But Missouri Assistant Attorney General Greg Barnes says Hosier was represented by highly-experienced legal counsel.
“Trial counsel, guilt phase trial counsel had over 150 trials worth of experience over many years in both Texas and in Missouri,” Barnes tells the Supreme Court.
Barnes is critical of Hosier’s death penalty appeal, and questions the public defender’s argument that Hosier had a stroke in 2007.
The stroke “didn’t explain the 1986 assault on his wife or his threat to kill multiple law enforcement officers or to kidnap his kids and take them to Mexico during that time,” says Barnes.
Barnes tells the Supreme Court that “Hail Mary’s is all they’ve got in this case,” referring to Hosier’s public defender.
Bartholow tells the Supreme Court that Hosier’s trial counsel should have also moved to strike two jurors who she says could not consider life imprisonment. The appeal also says the judge who presided over the trial, Cole County Judge Patricia M. Joyce, should have recused herself.
The Missouri Supreme Court has not announced when they’ll issue a ruling in the case.
Missouri Department of Corrections spokeswoman Karen Pojmann tells Missourinet that Hosier is one of 23 Missouri prisoners currently under a death sentence. Hosier is incarcerated at the maximum-security Potosi Correctional Center in Mineral Point.
Pojmann notes there are no executions scheduled at this time.
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