State won't seek death penalty against four charged in Tyler mur - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

State won't seek death penalty against four charged in Tyler murder

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Broderick Smith appears before Judge Russell. (Source: KLTV staff) Broderick Smith appears before Judge Russell. (Source: KLTV staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Friday, the four Tyler men charged in a 2013 motel murder in Tyler appeared separately before a judge.

Darian Pilkinton, 18, Michael Browning, 34, Broderick Smith, 28, and Lawrence Murphy, 20, all of Tyler, are facing capital murder charges in the death of 26-year-old Wesley Scott Lester.

In court Friday, there were few updates regarding the cases. Browning appeared before the judge first, followed by Murphy, Pilkinton and then Smith. The defendants, their lawyers and the State agreed there were no issues that needed to be addressed by the court. The State told the judge they have been providing evidence to the defendants' attorneys.

The court said they have received notice from the district attorney that he will not be seeking the death penalty in these cases. Judge Kerry Russell said the defendants will be back in court on August 1 at 1:30 for the plea bargain deadline and hearing.

Lester was murdered in the early morning hours of June 15 at America Inn Motel. He was shot and killed inside his motel room. A police investigation revealed that the shooting could have resulted from an attempted robbery.

Police made contact with a man who told them Pilkinton went to the motel to buy drugs from Lester. When the four men saw the quantity of drugs Lester had, they attempted to rob him. Lester attempted to fight back but was shot during the altercation.

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