The man charged in two shooting deaths in Danville last month has a new public defender assigned to his case, which appears headed for the Boyle County grand jury.
According to the Boyle County Public Defender’s office, Thomas Hager now is being represented by Aaron Currin of the Capital Trials Branch of the Public Defender’s Office in Lexington. Suzsanne McCollough, who had been defending Hager, referred the case because she currently is working on two other capital cases.
Hager, 39, of Danville, is charged with killing Mark Snyder, 21, of Waynesburg and Ted Sparks, 54, of Danville, and attempting to kill Philip White, 37, of Lancaster, on May 21 at Sparks’ residence at 477 High St. White survived being shot multiple times after apparently walking into the home and seeing Hager holding Snyder and Sparks at gunpoint.
The case was waived to the grand jury during a May 30 preliminary hearing, but Commonwealth Attorney Richie Bottoms had discussed the possibility of filing an information in the case, which is similar to an indictment and often is filed when an indictment is likely. The document includes the charges and law enforcement statements in a case and can be submitted to the court in lieu of presenting the case to the grand jury.
Bottoms said the defense typically agrees to an information before the prosecution proceeds and he spoke with McCullough about taking that route before the preliminary hearing. However, Bottoms said, it is likely the case will go to the grand jury now that Hager has new representation.
It remains unclear, though, whether the case will be heard June 26 or during the July meeting. Bottoms said he is busy preparing other cases and all of the information from the police investigation has not been turned over to him yet.
Police said Hager confessed to the shootings, but he has pleaded not guilty.
McCullough initially said she planned to litigate the means with which police obtained the confession, but never specified what she planned to question. Currin could not be reached for comment by press time.
State police also continue to investigate the death of Clint Disken, 31, of Harrodsburg, who was seen last with Hager in early March. Disken’s body was found last month in the cellar of a barn behind a trailer he lived in briefly with Hager.
Trooper Paul Blanton said Tuesday the case still is considered a death investigation and police continue to conduct interviews.
The State Medical Examiner’s Office has not released a cause of death for Disken. Lincoln Coroner Farris Marcum previously had said shooting and stabbing were ruled out as possible causes.