Competency hearing set for accused killer

An Elizabethtown man, who police say is responsible for one of the 254 mass shootings in the United States this year, will learn next month if he will stand trial for killing two people.

Shadrach Peeler, 36, is charged with shooting two people to death and injuring two others on Feb. 21 at two Eliza­bethtown locations.

Peeler recently completed a mental evaluation stay at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange after he was admitted in May. He was examined by Dr. Tim Allen at the facility, according to court documents.

A competency hearing will be held at 3 p.m. Sept. 10 in the case, which is classified as a mass shooting, according to the website Gun Violence Archive, which listed the U.S. total this year as 254 as of Friday.

Elizabethtown police said Peeler opened fire on four people Feb. 21, killing his girlfriend Cherie Turner, 34, on West Warfield Street and then going to a convenience store on North Miles Street where store co-owner Subash “Su” Ghale, 40, was killed.

He was arrested shortly after police were called to the convenience store at 11:30 p.m. Feb. 21.

On April 30, Peeler said before Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton during a pre-trial conference he wanted to plead guilty and to “stand up for what I did just to get it over with.”

The conference was about when Peeler could be admitted to the state psychiatric center. Easton cautioned Peeler about the nature of his statements in court and advised him to consult with his lawyer, public defender Susie Hurst, and reminded him he previously had a chance to enter a plea and he pleaded “not guilty.”

Peeler also is accused of shooting and injuring Prayash Baniya of Elizabethtown, a store employee and close friend of Ghale, and Nadia Browne of Elizabethtown.

Hardin County Comm­­­on­­­­­wealth’s Attor­ney Shane Young is seeking the death penalty if Peeler is convicted in the case. Without the death penalty, Peeler would face 20 to 50 years or life in prison, if convicted, on the two murder charges.

Peeler is scheduled for trial Jan. 22.

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.

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