Follow up: Hoagland murder suspect has criminal past

47-year-old Steven Mark Pryer avoided eye contact as he walked into the Morgan County Courthouse Monday.

He is accused of killing a Morgan county woman named Diann Hoagland.

During his initial hearing Monday, the judge told Pryer he is eligible for the death penalty, if convicted of the murder.

Police say Pryer shot Diann Hoagland at her rural Alexander home in August.

He faces charges of murder, burglary and home invasion in connection with Hoagland's death.

Police believe Pryer shot her twice, once in the chest and once in the head in her driveway after she discovered his truck in front of her home.

Pryer has a long criminal record that dates back to his early twenties.

KHQA's Melissa Shriver did some digging and found that in 1984 he was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of a Sangamon county couple.

Court documents show he and the couple's son murdered the couple. The murder victims were both stabbed and hit in the head with a crowbar.

Pryer was released less than 20 years later.

More recently in July, he was the suspect in the burglary of a K-Mart store in Springfield.

He'll be back in court in Morgan county later this month.