Monongalia County Judge Sets New Trial Date for Shelia Eddy - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Monongalia County Judge Sets New Trial Date for Shelia Eddy

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Skylar Neese Skylar Neese
Shelia Eddy Shelia Eddy

Update: 12/2/13

A Monongalia County judge has set a new trial date for a teenager accused of killing 17-year-old Skylar Neese.

Judge Russell Clawges has re-scheduled Shelia Eddy's trial for Jan. 28, 2014, according to the Monongalia County Prosecutor's office. It was originally scheduled to begin Feb. 11.

Eddy, 18, faces charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy. 

Update: 10/15/13

A Monongalia County teen charged in the death of Skylar Neese will be tried in February.

Judge Russell Clawges granted Shelia Eddy's motion to continue her trial during a hearing October 15.

Eddy, 18, faces charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy.

Judge Clawges deferred motions to bring in an outside jury, to change venue, and to suppress Rachel Shoaf's testimony upon request by the defense.

Michael Benninger, Eddy's lawyer, asked the court to defer until he could file evidence to support the motions.

On May 1, Shoaf pleaded guilty to second degree murder. She told prosecutors that on the night of July 6, 2012, she and Eddy drove Skylar Neese to Pennsylvania where they stabbed her, and tried to bury the body.

Eddy's defense challenges Shoaf's mental state-of-mind when she pleaded guilty and named Eddy as a co-conspirator.

Judge Clawges denied Eddy bail, but granted a motion to continue. 

Eddy's original trial was set for October 22. Benninger told the court he needed more time, and said he would be ready for a January term trial. Clawges moved the trail date to February 11, the first day of that term.

Dave Neese, Skylar's father was in attendance for the hearing and spoke with reporters afterwards.

"I want Perri and Marcia to be as prepared as they can be, so in that aspect I'm happy. For it to go on and on, I want it over with. I want to, somewhat, start living a normal life again," said Neese.

"Not that I, my family, or Team Skylar would do anything to her but there are a lot of cuckoos around here. I think for her own safety she should be in there, plus I don't want her out, she's done a horrible, horrible crime," he added, "I don't want her out. I want her to stay the rest of her life in prison where she belongs."

The prosecution said Eddy may also face charges in another jurisdiction.

Update: 9/17/13

Shelia Eddy, 17, who is accused of killing Star City teen Skylar Neese, was in open court for the first time Tuesday for her arraignment.

Eddy pleaded not guilty to four charges including first degree murder and kidnapping.

She was indicted by the Monongalia County grand jury on Friday, days after her juvenile status was moved to adult.

Judge Russell Clawges set Eddy's trial for the week of October 22, and the deadline for motions for September 30.

About a dozen people where in the courtroom, including Dave Neese, Skylar's father. This was the first time Dave Neese had seen Eddy since her arrest.

"There were a lot of emotions, a whole lot of emotions," Neese said. "I miss Skylar that much more when I see her."

In the past, Neese has described Eddy as a close friend of the family and Skylar's best friend.

"You think someone's your best friend and they turn around and kill you, come on, that's not how this is supposed to work. Best friends are supposed to be best friends. They're not supposed to turn around and kill each other," he said.

In January, Rachel Shoaf helped lead investigators to Neese's body in Wayne Township, Pa.

Then, on May 1, Shoaf pleaded guilty to second degree murder. She told prosecutors that on the night of July 6, 2012, she and Eddy drove Skylar Neese to Pennsylvania where they stabbed her, and tried to bury the body.

Shania Ammons, a Blacksville teen, sat with the Neese family. She said she was a good friend of both Skylar and Shelia.

"I talked to Shelia every single day, I stood up for her every single day until she got arrested. I talked to Shelia the morning of. She lied to me everyday, but her story never changed though," Ammons said.

"She's the one that told me Skylar was missing," she added. "I was on my way home from Myrtle Beach and I got the text about it, and said what do you mean she's missing. She said nobody can find her. I went to Shelia's house the next day and cried with Shelia, and went to Dave and Mary's and cried with Dave and Mary with her."

Update: 9/4/13

The authorities changed the status of a teenager charged in the death of Star City teenager Skylar Neese Wednesday.

Prosecutors said Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf, 16, conspired to kill Neese last summer.

On Friday, Eddy was indicted by a grand jury in Monongalia County. She faces one count of kidnapping, one count of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy. 

Eddy's arraignment is set for Tuesday, September 17 at 9 a.m. in Judge Clawges' chambers.

In May, Shoaf pleaded guilty to second degree murder in Neese's death and faces up to 40 years in prison. 

Shoaf told prosecutors she and Eddy picked up Neese, drove her to Pennsylvania, and stabbed her to death and buried her, according to court documents.

Monongalia Prosecuting Attorney Marcia Ashdown released this statement within minutes of the hearing:

"On September 4, 2013, the juvenile matters pending against Sheila Eddy were transferred to the adult jurisdiction of the Circuit Court of Monongalia County. All further proceedings will take place in the criminal court jurisdiction."

Eddy's involvement was long known by the Neese family who said Shelia was very close to them.

"She was basically like our daughter. She was very close to Skylar or course, and very close to all of us. To know someone like that betrayed you, in that manner is horrible," Dave Neese said.

"This whole thing is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved," Neese added. "The only thing now is Shelia Eddy is what her name is. That's about all it came down to. It's not a win, if anything else it just starts a new chapter."

Neese went missing July 6, 2012 and her case has received national attention. In January Shoaf helped lead investigators to Neese's body.

 Update

The Monongalia County Prosecutor's Office said it could be months before we learn more about Rachel Shoaf's involvement in Skylar Neese's death.

But the involvement of a second teen arrested last week could soon be known.

Star City Police chief Vic Propst said prosecutors could motion to change the juvenile's status to adult, during a preliminary hearing.

Shoaf, 16, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder.


Original Story

Charges were filed Wednesday against two teenagers in connection to the death and disappearance of Star City teen, Skylar Neese, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II.

Rachel Shoaf, 16 of Morgantown, was charged with the murder of Neese, whose body was found in January 2013 in Pennsylvania, according to the news release.

Shoaf pleaded guilty to second degree murder during an appearance in Monongalia County Circuit Court Wednesday, after agreeing to be transferred to adult status.

Court documents indicate that Shoaf pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing Neese. Officials said Shoaf is in custody awaiting sentencing.

In a statement, Shoaf's family said they are at a loss for words to comfort the Neeses' pain.

"We were shocked to learn of our daughter's involvement and there is no way to describe the pain that we too are feeling knowing that our daughter was involved in Skylar's death," the statement said.

To read the full statement, click here.

Officials said charges are pending against a second juvenile who is currently in custody in Monongalia County, but due to the nature of the proceedings, no further information is available at this time.

A continuing joint state and federal investigation conducted by the Star City Police, the W.Va. State Police, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies resulted in the charges filed Wednesday.

The pending cases will be prosecuted by Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney Marcia Ashdown and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Perri Jo DeChristopher.