HILLSBORO — Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger, charged with the murder of a Greenfield man after a deadly Fourth of July crime spree that left two dead and another critically injured, pled not guilty by reason of insanity on Tuesday prior to an arraignment in Highland County Common Pleas Court.
In addition to the plea, Holsinger’s defense attorney, J.D. Wagoner, filed a motion Tuesday requesting a psychiatric evaluation to determine Holsinger’s competency to stand trial.
During the arraignment, Judge Rocky Coss ordered the evaluation be conducted and set a hearing on the determination for Sept. 13 at 10:30 a.m.
Coss placed the case on the inactive docket and changed Holsinger’s bail from $2 million to $1 million.
Holsinger seemed relaxed in the courtroom, and even occasionally joked with corrections officers while waiting for proceedings to begin.
According to Coss, Holsinger faces 15 years to life in prison for murder, an unclassified felony; three to 11 years for aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; three to 11 years for kidnapping, a first-degree felony; and nine to 36 months for having weapons under disability, a third-degree felony.
In addition, Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins said Holsinger could receive anywhere from one to six years in prison for three additional counts specifying that he displayed, brandished or indicated possession of a firearm during the commission of crimes.
Tuesday marks the second time Holsinger has pled not guilty by reason of insanity, according to court records.
After Holsinger was charged with aggravated robbery in 2009, Carol Curren, Holsinger’s attorney at the time, filed a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, and the court ordered a psychiatric evaluation. According to court records, Holsinger was found competent to stand trial in that case. He pled guilty to the crime a little less than a month later.
Holsinger is charged in Highland County with the murder of Steve Mottie Jr., who was found shot to death in a bathroom in a home at Higginsville near Greenfield on the Fourth of July. According to the indictment, Holsinger is also charged with the kidnapping of Mottie’s father, Steve Mottie Sr.
Holsinger has yet to be indicted in Ross County for the alleged murder of Paul Robertson on Browns Chapel Road the same night, as well as the injury of Jessie Lytle, who was critically wounded after Holsinger allegedly attacked him.
The shootings happened just one day after the funeral of Holsinger’s father, who died in a freak accident June 28 after being struck by a wheel that flew off a homemade trailer near Greenfield, as reported by The Times-Gazette.
While he was serving prison time for aggravated robbery and escape, Holsinger wrote a letter to Coss in September 2014 asking the judge to give him a second chance. At the time, he had been incarcerated for about five years.
“Sir,” Holsinger wrote, “know that I write you today a very diffrent person then the very foolish kid that steped (sic) in your court room in 2009. Over these last five years I have grew and learned, ‘It has been a very long five years,’ but in all it was needed to help me grow into a better person.”
The letter said “change happens by choice,” adding that Holsinger’s first few years in prison “were not positive ones,” and he wanted to be home to see his family in time for the holidays.
“A lot of men dream of fortune and fame, but me these days with all the time I have had to reflect on life I dream of my daughter, and working hard every single day so I know she is provided for and protected,” Holsinger wrote. “The small things in any other mans (sic) life would be the fortune and fame in mine. I’m not cut out for this way of life, and plan to never even come remotely close to leading a lifestyle that will bring [me] back to a place like this.”
Coss did not grant the release.
Holsinger was eventually released in August of last year after serving his terms, according to records, and was on five years’ post-release supervision when the shootings occurred.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.
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