Prosecutor will seek death penalty in Cape Girardeau murder case

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Proscutors will seek the death penalty for the man charged in the Oct. 27 killings of Jamie Lynn Orman and her son, Derrick.

Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle made the motion in court Wednesday before Circuit Court Judge William L. Syler, who heard the first set of motions filed by the prosecution and the defense.

Ryan T. Patterson's case was delayed twice before Syler in February, when David Kenyon, Patterson's attorney, was waiting to receive records from the Missouri Department of Social Services Children's Division. At a hearing Feb. 15, Kenyon said he wanted Swingle to review the records before deciding on whether he'll seek the death penalty for Patterson.

Swingle said Wednesday he did not need to see the records in order to make his decision.

"The death penalty is what I wanted," said John Lawrence, former boyfriend of Orman's.

"That's something we have been waiting for," said her sister, Kelly Yates.

The court did not set a trial date for Patterson, who is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action and one count of burglary.

Kenyon filed 12 motions. Among them was a motion to dismiss one charge of first-degree murder, which Syler denied.

The judge did grant a motion allowing Patterson to appear in his own clothing and without visible restraints at all court appearances.

"I know this process takes time, but sometimes I feel like he has more rights than we have," Lawrence said of that motion.

Syler delayed deciding on a defense motion to receive the medical and psychiatric records of Michelle Lawrence, who is charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He wanted to allow Chris Davis, Lawrence's attorney, to review the motion and discuss the issue with her.

Syler ordered the motion be taken up at an evidentiary hearing April 7.

Prosecutors allege that Michelle Lawrence initiated a plot to kill her husband, John Lawrence, and burn the house they owned together to obtain a large insurance payout while their divorce proceedings were still pending. Patterson is accused of entering the home at 1224 N. Missouri Ave, and shooting Orman and her son in a basement bedroom. Orman was pregnant at the time.

Another man, Samuel "Ray Ray" Hughes, is charged as Patterson's accomplice.

In addition, Syler ruled the prosecution and defense must provide one another with a copy of the jury instructions they intend to submit to the court and also granted a motion that the defense have access to the arrest records of summoned jurors if they're requested by the prosecutor.

Patterson, who appeared in street clothes and out of handcuffs, briefly spoke to his family, seated behind him, before the hearing. Numerous Cape Girardeau County deputies lined the courtroom for extra security throughout the hearing.

ehevern@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

1224 N. Missouri Ave., Cape Girardeau

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