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News Prosecutors will not pursue death penalty for Kathy Pruitt

Kathy Paulette Pruitt, an Otto woman charged with the first degree murder of her son, will not be facing the death penalty.

At Monday’s session of Macon County Superior Court, prosecutors declared that they would not pursue the death penalty for Pruitt, in what is known as a Rule 24 hearing. According to the sheriff’s office, it was a special murder case proceeding wherein a prosecutor declares what sentence will be sought.

Instead, if convicted of the offense, Pruitt will face life in prison without the possibility of parole. Kathy, 53, along with her husband, Frank Pruitt, 62, was present for the proceeding.

Frank Pruitt has also been charged with first degree murder but it remains to be determined whether he will face capital punishment.

On July 8, the Pruitt’s 34-year-old son Robert Pruitt was shot at their Coweeta Lab Road home. The couple faces the possibility of either life in prison without parole or the death penalty, due to their shared charges of first degree murder. According to General Statute 14-17, such charges are contingent upon premeditation and malice.

The District Attorney’s Office was unable to confirm on Monday whether it would seek the death penalty against Frank Pruitt, as he was without legal representation.

The husband’s court-appointed attorney, Randy Seago, had recently withdrawn from the case due to physical illness, after Seago’s colleague Mark Melrose filed for his release. According to the Clerk of Court’s office, Pruitt was appointed Asheville-based David Belser as his new attorney. Now a new hearing must be rescheduled on the matter.

According to reports, the husband was initially charged with second degree murder for fatally shooting his son following a heated argument at his Coweeta Lab Road residence. Kathy Pruitt was charged with resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer.

Throughout the rest of July, the couple was charged with additional offenses, including soliciting to commit murder, assault with a deadly weapon and first degree murder. The husband, who is confined to a wheelchair, is being held in a Raleigh prison facility due to health issues, according to the clerk of court’s office.

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