Local News

DA seeks death penalty in Rocky Mount stabbings

Posted January 29, 2008 11:52 a.m. EST
Updated October 9, 2008 4:19 p.m. EDT

— Nash County Assistant District Attorney Keith Werner formally announced Tuesday that prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against a man who police say confessed to stabbing two women, killing one, inside a Rocky Mount church.

Tommy Lee Holiday, 30, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Debbie Kornegay, 58, and attempted murder in the stabbing of Eve Beasley, 60.

Werner cited several aggravating factors, making it a capital case, but declined to elaborate.

Superior Court Judge Quentin Sumner told attorneys Tuesday to start filing any pre-trial motions immediately.

“I wish to have those motions disposed of as quickly as possible, so this matter might proceed for a trial as quickly as possible,” Sumner said.

Sumner also appointed Holiday's attorneys to represent him on two new indictments for robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Kornegay, the director of Meals on Wheels, and Beasley, the assistant director, were preparing meals in the kitchen at Lakeside Baptist Church on Oct. 18 when, police said, Holiday attacked them.

Investigators said they believe Kornegay was trying to help Holiday find a shelter before he stabbed her multiple times. Beasley spent seven weeks recovering at Pitt Memorial Hospital from 10 stab wounds and was later allowed to go home

Kornegay's husband sat in the front row during Tuesday's hearing, but didn't want to speak with reporters.

Beasley's son said his mother continues to make great improvements in her physical recovery. He also said the family was happy to see the judge pressing for a speedy trial, and that they support the state's decision to seek the death penalty.