Share This Page

Teen pleads not guilty in friend's murder

| Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A 17-year-old girl pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in what prosecutors said was the premeditated stabbing death of her onetime best friend in a wooded area along the Pennsylvania border last summer.

Shelia Eddy gave only brief answers to questions from Monongalia Circuit Judge Russell Clawges, then said “not guilty” to one count each of first-degree murder and kidnapping, and two counts of conspiracy.

Clawges tentatively scheduled her trial for the week of Oct. 22, as friends of 16-year-old victim Skylar Neese wept and Neese's father, Dave, glared at the girl he used to consider a second daughter.

“I miss Skylar that much more when I see her,” he said of Eddy after the court appearance. “She's exactly where she belongs, though — if she committed the murder of my daughter, she deserves to be exactly where she is: in jail.”

Prosecutors say Eddy and another friend, Rachel Shoaf, lured Skylar Neese out of her ground-floor bedroom in Star City in July 2012, drove her to a secluded spot near the unincorporated West Virginia community of Macdale, then stabbed her to death at an agreed-upon moment.

Authorities haven't revealed a potential motive but say the girls covered Skylar's body with branches when they couldn't bury her, and it lay there for months.

Under questioning in January, Shoaf told police that she and Eddy had committed the crime, and she directed them to the body. She pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge May 1.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.