W.Va. teen wants trial in killing relocated
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Attorneys for a 17-year-old West Virginia girl charged with the premeditated stabbing death of her former best friend say she can't get a fair trial in Monongalia County, so they want it delayed and relocated.
Attorney Michael Benninger filed several motions in Shelia Eddy's looming first-degree murder trial this week, including one that asks a judge to deny the use of a confession from her alleged accomplice, Rachel Shoaf.
Prosecutors say Eddy and Shoaf lured 16-year-old University High School honors student Skylar Neese out of her Star City home last summer, stabbed her for reasons that have never been clear and hid her body under some branches just across the state line in Pennsylvania.
Shoaf, who has said only that she and Eddy no longer wanted to be friends with Neese, confessed to the plot and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in May. But Benninger says she was under extreme mental distress when she named Eddy as her co-conspirator, and prosecutors should not be able to use her statements.
The court filings demand copies of all statements and evidence that Shoaf gave police, as well as her mental health records.
Benninger says Shoaf was sent to a mental health facility before she confessed, and that suggests her testimony is unreliable. That also violates Eddy's constitutional right to due process, he argues.
Neese had been missing for months when the break in the case came Jan. 3. Prosecutors say that's when Shoaf finally told investigators the truth — and where to find the body.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Chief justice revokes Feudale’s senior judge status
- Western Pa. dairies get creative to ensure eggnog supply
- Settlements in the Sandusky scandal up to nearly $93 million for Penn State
- Pennsylvania Senate defeats tax overhaul plan
- 53 years later, Grove City College apologizes to fired professor
- Western Pa. community colleges struggle for relevancy as enrollment falls
- Amish man runs Harrisburg marathon in his traditional clothing