Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 4, 2013

Mon prosecutor: Teen murder trial should stay here

MORGANTOWN —  A West Virginia prosecutor says a 17-year-old girl charged with the premeditated murder of her former best friend can get a fair trial in Monongalia County, and it shouldn’t be relocated.

In response to defense motions this week, Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown also said Thursday that Shelia Eddy’s due-process rights haven’t been violated, and the confession of her alleged co-conspirator should be used as evidence.

Eddy is charged first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy in the July 2012 stabbing death of 16-year-old Skylar Neese, a University High School honors student.

The Dominion Post says Ashdown also told the court she doesn’t have access to medical or mental health records for that other slaying suspect, Rachel Shoaf.

Shoaf has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and awaits sentencing.

Ashdown did not oppose a request to delay the trial, which had been set for the week of Oct. 22.

Prosecutors say Eddy and Shoaf lured Neese out of her Star City apartment last summer, stabbed her for reasons that have never been clear and hid her body under some branches. 

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. 

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. 

Neese’s remains were found hidden under branches in a secluded spot in Wayne Township, Pa., near the unincorporated West Virginia community of Macdale.

Shoaf told police the girls had been unable to bury her.

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