WOFFGATE- Another Motion Filed Thursday in Matthew Fenner Case

Rcatalyst.com reports this story. Another motion was filed by Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers in the Matthew Fenner case on Thursday. “This is a Notice of Hearing on a Motion for Special Venire from Another County.” This motion is for the jury selection in the trial of five defendants in the Matthew Fenner case: Brooke Covington, Sarah Anderson, Justin Covington, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley. The charges in the case include simple assault and second degree kidnapping. Sarah also faces a charge for allegedly attempting to strangle Matthew.

The hearing is scheduled for September 21, 2015 at 9:30AM which is the same session in which the Change of Venue request filed earlier in the year by Tomblin, Farmer and Morris is set to be heard.

From the article, “The State asserts that the Defendants can receive a fair trial in Rutherford County. The N.C. Supreme Court has held that the existence of pretrial publicity by itself does not establish a reasonable likelihood that a defendant cannot receive a fair trial in the county where the crime was committed.

Byers further states that it is logistically impractical to have the trial in another county. Additionally, the appearance of any special treatment to these defendants should be avoided. …the State requests that jurors be brought in from Buncombe County, NC. The requirement of Jurors to travel to a county different from their residence is expressly authorized by the N.C. state statute.”

What does this mean? It means two things to me. First, Mr. Byers is attempting in every way to provide an environment where this case can be fairly heard for victim and defendants. Second, having the jurors brought in will in some regards may create more media attention. I do not believe this aspect of the trial is under direct control of Mr. Byers, nor should it be. This case has and will continue to be newsworthy to many in NC and across the country. Certainly, a scenario of five potential aggressors versus one victim is noteworthy. The laws of our State are meant to protect victims in these situations and justly penalize the aggressors.

The Summer of Decision rolls on. Hot, hot and hotter. How will this be played inside WOFF? We may never know or will we? Also, a much awaited decision on the disqualification of the attorneys from Tomblin, Farmer and Morris is expected any time. The ruling regarding the disqualification will add yet another layer of intrigue to this case- no matter how the judge rules. Return daily, there is so much breaking news in this case and the trial has not even begun!

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