COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The postal worker charged with killing two of his colleagues two days before Christmas is being held without bond after a court appearance on Thursday morning.
DeShaune K. Stewart, 24, faced a judge in Franklin County Municipal Court, charged with one count each of murder and aggravated murder.
Stewart is accused of shooting and killing supervisor Lance Herrera-Dempsey at the Dublin Post Office facility in the early morning hours of December 23. Witnesses say Stewart was naked when he carried out the shooting.
Investigators say Stewart then waited outside the apartment of postmaster Ginger Ballard. They say he apparently threw Ballard to the ground outside her apartment, killing her.
Although this happened nearly two weeks ago, this was Stewart’s first appearance in court. The court had ordered a mental health evaluation which was carried out at the Twin Valley Behavioral Hospital. Stewart was returned to the Franklin County jail on Wednesday.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien asked for no bond, and the defense didn’t contest it. The judge agreed to no bond.
“Certainly, it was our allegation in our motion that he was a threat to the public safety and should be held without bond,” O’Brien said. “Because of the pending federal charges, even if bond was set in this case, he would not have been released. So there was no risk to the public about that.”
Stewart is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on January 12 at 9 a.m. O’Brien said that in the next ten days, prosecutors will have to decide whether the case will proceed in state or federal court.
Funeral services for Herrera-Dempsey will be held Friday in California. The Postmaster General has ordered that all flags at post offices in the Ohio Valley Region fly at half staff on Friday. The same honor was carried out last week to mark the funeral of postmaster Ginger Ballard.