UPDATE: Motions hearing begins for man charged in death of Lyon sisters

BEDFORD CO., Va. (WDBJ7) For the first time today, we got to see and hear a key piece of the evidence against Lloyd Welch.

Welch is charged with the 1975 murder of two sisters - Katherine and Sheila Lyon.

Welch's attorneys argue that he shouldn't face the death penalty because laws were different back then. But Welch's attorneys did not get an answer on that death penalty motion today.

While the judge said he refuses to say the death penalty is unconstitutional, he is allowing the defense to submit more information to argue their case.

In a Bedford County courtroom Lloyd Welch Jr. learned details and guidelines of his upcoming trial for the murder of Katherine and Sheila Lyon back in 1975.

There were simple motions Judge Jim Updike ruled on - like jury selection, he denied a jury questionnaire, and he ruled there will be no reference to polygraphs during the trial.

But the defense played fragments of interrogation videos from 2015 they don't want jurors to see. For instance on May 12th, Welch says "I want a lawyer, and I plead the fifth, I'm tired of this."

Then in an audio recording of an interrogation on July 14th, Welch says "The first thing they're going to do is charge me with murder, and I never killed anybody, I don't have the heart for that."

The defense argues investigators were slow to give Welch a lawyer when he asked for one.

A hearing was set for December 20 about an immunity agreement with investigators in Montgomery County, Maryland. The defense is arguing that statements he made to investigators in Maryland should not be admissible during the Lyon sisters trial.

On January 24, there will be a hearing on whether or not Welch was given his right counsel. That's when they'll also continues to discuss the constitutionality of the death penalty. The trial is scheduled for April.

When the trial begins in April, the jury selection will be done in panels of three.

An earlier version of this story reported that the judge made a ruling on the death penalty. This story has been updated to reflect that the judge did not make the final ruling.

UPDATE

A man charged with the murder of two girls is back in a Bedford County courtroom.

A motions hearing for Lloyd Lee Welch, Jr. began Tuesday morning.

Welch is charged with murdering the Lyon sisters more than 40 years ago.

Katherine and Sheila Lyon went missing from a Maryland shopping center in 1975.

This afternoon, the judge may rule on whether statements Welch made to investigators last year will be admissible at trial.

Welch's trial is scheduled to begin in mid-April of next year.

ORIGINAL STORY

A man charged with the murder of two girls will be back in a Bedford County courtroom Tuesday morning.

Lloyd Lee Welch, Jr. be in court Tuesday a motions hearing. His attorneys are asking the death penalty to be taken off the table. Welch's defense attorneys say the death penalty was not legal until several months after the alleged crime.

They're also asking the judge to exclude all the statements he made to police. According to court documents, Welch signed an immunity agreement in Maryland and didn't know his statements would be used against him in Bedford.

Lloyd Welch, Jr. is charged with murdering the Lyon sisters more than 40 years ago. Katherine and Shelia Lyon went missing from a Maryland shopping center in 1975. Welch told detectives he was at the shopping center the day the girls went missing and could describe the clothing one of the girls was wearing. He claimed that he had nothing to do with their disappearance, though.

A judge will hear his defense attorney's requests beginning Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.. It's ahead of his trial, which is scheduled to begin in mid-April and take three weeks.