LIMA — Attorneys for a man facing the death penalty in the robbery and beating death of a woman want a judge to take away execution as the potential punishment.
Hager Church’s attorneys said the death penalty violates the Constitution and international law therefore it should be removed as a potential punishment.
Church’s attorneys also want to raise the burden of proof beyond all doubt, instead of reasonable doubt, at the penalty phase of the trial. They want the judge to issue an order preventing anyone from discussing the case with Church, including inmates in the jail who may be looking to gain favor in their cases.
The motions were filed along with numerous others Tuesday and in the past week in Church’s case. Church is charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery in the Aug. 16 slaying of Debra Henderson inside her home at 619 Woodward Ave. Police said Church beat Henderson to death during a robbery.
Other motions attorneys filed included:
• A motion to close pretrial hearing to the news media saying it could taint a potential jury pool.
• A motion seeking a warning from the judge to news media advising the media that the publishing of information that was not introduced at trial or is prejudicial to Church is undesirable.
• A motion to sequester jurors.
• A motion to stop jurors from discussing the case with anyone during the trial.
• A motion to allow Church to appear in civilian clothing without restraints at trial.
• A motion to exclude photographs of Henderson after her death.
Church, 25, is scheduled to stand trial May 9. Police officials said Church confessed to the crime.