Detectives testify in Richmond double murder case

Detectives testify in Richmond double murder case
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re learning new details in a case that has shocked the Richmond community.

Thomas Birl is accused of shooting and killing Chris and Gracie Hager, two well-loved entrepreneurs.

“Inside the defendant’s bedroom we found over 1,500 9mm rounds of ammunition,” Richmond Police Detective Jason Friend said.

Friend said they also found two firearms, a helmet, bulletproof vest, and surveillance equipment inside Birl’s apartment.

“It’s obviously disturbing if there was somebody that had those types of things in their possession,” said David Jones, who knew the Hagers.

The Hagers owned the building were Birl and his girlfriend stayed. The detective said the Hagers were at the apartment to notify residents about a change in ownership. Birl’s girlfriend told police she became upset about a possible rent increase and that’s when Birl grabbed his gun and then shot the Hagers.

The tragedy has hit the Richmond community hard, which could hurt Birl’s case.

“I would imagine it would probably be better for a fair trial, for it to be moved somewhere else,” Jones said.

Following the prosecutor’s questions, the defense attorney took his chance, asking the detective to clarify details.

He’s asking the community to be respectful of Birl and his family.

“We ask for whatever people’s perceptions are, whatever harm or whatever they want to do to the family, retaliation is never an answer. We leave it in courtroom. We’ll argue the case in the courtroom,” defense attorney Daniel Whitley said.

Whitley said Birl is doing “just fine.”

“He’s injured so we have to work on getting rehabilitated and feeling better,” Whitley said.

The defense attorney tried to get Birl’s bond reduced to $300,000. The judge decided to keep it at $5 million.

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