Motions denied in slain intern case

January 9, 2008 2:52:26 PM PST
A Delaware County judge has denied two key defense motions in the case of a sales manager charged with killing a college intern.

The judge's decision Wednesday paves the way for prosecutors to seek the death penalty against 42-year-old William Smithson of Glen Mills.

The judge also declined to grant immunity to a potential defense witness.

Smithson is charged with killing 23-year-old Jason Shepard of Cavalier, N.D., who was interning for Daktronics Inc. Shepard was found dead in Smithson's home. A trial is expected this spring.

The judge says a jury could find aggravating circumstances to support the death penalty.