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Mental Health Likely To Be Defense For Accused Triple Killer

Judge said trial for Ryan Clark Petersen will likely be held next Spring.
It appears the defense of a man accused of shooting three people to death at a Dothan nightclub will center on mental health and mitigation issues. Defense attorneys representing Ryan Clark Petersen were among those who met with a judge Tuesday afternoon to discuss the case.

While not mentioning specifics, attorney Ben Freeman said he expects to call expert witnesses in the field of mental health and others in the trial of Petersen who, if convicted, could be sentenced to death. Petersen is also represented by attorney Christopher Capps.

Petersen, 24, faces three counts of capital murder, one count of attempted murder, and other charges in connection with the August 9, 2012 shootings at Teaser's, a gentleman's club located in the Wicksburg community.

Among those killed was Tiffani Paige Grisset, 31, who was an employee of the club, Cameron Eubanks, the 20-year old son of the club's owner, and Thomas Robins, 59, who was a patron in the establishment.

Petersen is believed to have become angry during a dispute with others inside Teasers’ and was subsequently escorted out of the club by security personnel. Prosecutors, during the trial, are expected to present a surveillance video showing Petersen going to his automobile where he retrieved a handgun and went back inside firing shots.

Investigators say Petersen then ran toward a wooded area where he was the target of a seven-hour manhunt which culminated in his arrest. A source familiar with the investigation claims Petersen confessed during interrogation held a few hours after his apprehension.

During Tuesday’s hearing Houston County Circuit Judge Brad Mendheim said he will set a trial date for next spring. He said that will give the defense and prosecution adequate time to schedule witnesses and determine if there are any scheduling conflicts.

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