WDBJ7 has confirmed prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a Roanoke County man charged with capital murder.
Shane Padgett is accused of killing Patrick Henry High grad Cara Holley in 2010.
On Thursday in Roanoke County court, a judge granted a motion to allow the defense to hire an expert on Padgett's danger to society after a possible sentencing. That will cost $9,600 and come from state funds.
It's important because his suspected danger will be a factor if he can be put to death.
What is also critical to point out is that Padgett may have been high on synthetic drugs like bath salts at the time of the offense.
His team has talked with pharmacology experts about what bath salts can do to the mind.
He's accused of raping Holley and beating her to death with a tire iron and then dumping her body in Franklin County.
We spoke with Padgett's capital defender after the hearing Thursday and asked him if bath salts might be used as a possible way to take premeditation out of the equation.
That could drop charges down to second-degree murder and save his life.
In court papers revealed Thursday, prosecutors wrote in April that they intend to put Padgett to death and not have him serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.