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Joe Hamble, 29, Salem, appeared before Washington County Circuit Court Judge Larry Medlock this morning a little after 11a for his initial arraignment before the court and entered a not-guilty plea in the shooting deaths of Valerie E. Dicus and Joseph R. Hobson.

When asked if he intended to hire an attorney, Hemble first responded that he intended to hire an attorney.

After Judge Medlock repeated the question, Hemble admitted he could not afford an attorney.

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Joe Hambel, 29, Salem, is being led into the Washington County Courthouse this morning for his first appearance before Judge Larry Medlock. – Photo by Becky White

Hemble told the judge he had not been employed for two years because of a workman’s comp related injury.

Judge Medlock assigned him a public defender – in this case – Mark Clark and set the pre-trial conference for Sept. 27 at 9a.

Judge Medlock read the charges against Hemble – two counts of Murder, both felonies.

Hamble said he would plead not-guilty to both charges.

These charges carry a prison sentence term between 45 and 65 years each, said Medlock.

Hamble was arrested on Saturday evening after he admitted to police that he had shot Hobson and the same gun accidentally discharged and shot Dicus.

The .32 calibur handgun used in the shooting was found at Hamble’s apartment in Aspen Meadows.

A family member called 911 after finding the bodies after midnight Saturday morning. Salem Police officers were first at the scene at the 304 West Small Street home.

According to ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin, autopsies were completed Saturday on the victims at the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville, KY.

The preliminary cause of death was gunshots wounds from a .32 caliber handgun.

Dicus died of a single gunshot wound to the head and Hobson died of multiple gunshot wounds, to the arm and torso.

The trial was also tentatively set for January 3, 2017 at 8:30a.