Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 22, 2013

Mercer man facing charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping still considering plea deal

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Trial is still set in late May for a Mercer County man facing charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping.

Tracey Lee Atwell, 38, of Spanishburg, appeared this  morning in Mercer County Circuit Court for a motions hearing before Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope. Atwell’s attorney, Paul Cassell, said his client is still considering a plea agreement. Trial in the case is set for May 28.

Authorities have not commented on what possible plea deal Atwell is considering. Atwell allegedly murdered his wife, 33-year-old Christine Marie Atwell and abducted his 8-year-old daughter Porsche in April 2012.

The child was found safe after an extensive search conducted by the West Virginia State Police, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, and other law enforcement agencies. A state police helicopter also joined in the search. Atwell was arrested April 14, 2012 while traveling along W.Va. Route 5 near the intersection of Nubbins Ridge Road and Egeria Road along the Mercer and Raleigh county line.