On Friday, April 12, Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Fusselman filed his notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Jeffrey Nichols, 22, and Christopher Lewis, 18, both of Macon.
Nichols and Lewis were arrested on April 1 in Macon for the suspicion of stabbing Carmelita Kaser, 92, of Moberly. Kaser was found dead in her home before midnight on Easter Sunday with a large wound on her neck caused by an apparent sharp object.
According to Fusselman, the statutes require him to prove "aggravating circumstance(s)" that would qualify Lewis and Nichols for the death penalty. He has filed the following four.
• The murder was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, or depravity of mind.
• The murder was committed while the defendant was engaged in the perpetration or was aiding or encouraging another person to perpetrate or attempt to perpetrate the felony of burglary.
• The offender committed the offense of murder for himself or another, for the purpose of receiving money or any other thing of monetary value from the victim of the murder or another.
• The murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding, interfering with, or preventing a lawful arrest or custody in a place of lawful confinement, of himself or another.
"There is nothing we can add at this point," said Fusselman. "I expect that the public defenders will determine who is going to handle the preliminary hearing and we will get the date for that. That is probably the next step."
Lewis and Nichols are both being charged with first-degree murder in the death of Carmalita Kaser. Bond for each was set at $1 million cash