When people in West Virginia read or watch news reports, it can be all too easy to draw conclusions about a person who is charged with a crime. This, however, can lead to many problems in part due to the fact that these reports generally include very few of the details and facts of a case. In fact, many of the facts not reported may well lead a person to a conclusion other than the one they originally made based upon the news report.
A related problem to public reports about criminal cases is that it may make finding an impartial jury difficult. Public opinion can become very strong and emotionally charged. One woman whose case is currently slated for trial in Lewis County next month knows how challenging it can be when strong public sentiment kicks in during a criminal process. The woman reported her young daughter missing in 2011 and to date the girl's body has not been found.
Some reports say that people saw the mother beating the girl with a heavy object. The mother faces multiple criminal charges including concealment of a corpse, murder, child abuse resulting in injury and death of a child due to child abuse. It is unclear what evidence other than witness testimony is being used to support these charges. The defense attempted to have the trial location moved but the request was denied.
Defendants in West Virginia might want to work with a criminal defense attorney to understand the various things they may do to protect themselves during a defense and trial process.
Source: U.S. News and World Report, "West Virginia Judge Refuses to Move Woman's Murder Trial," January 9, 2018