MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The attorney for teenage murder suspect Shelia Eddy filed a series of motions in Monongalia County Circuit Court requesting the indictment be dismissed and for a potential trial to be moved to another county.

Eddy, 18, is accused of stabbing to death her high school friend Skylar Neese last year. Eddy has pleaded not guilty.

A second suspect, Rachel Shoaf, already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is expected to testify against Eddy.

One motion suggests that Eddy’s attorney, Michael Benninger, is preparing to question the credibility of the state’s primary witness. Benninger argues in one of his filings that Shoaf was “suffering from a diagnosed mental illness at the time she made incriminating statements” concerning herself and Eddy.

Neese disappeared from her Star City home in July 2012. Her body was found nine months later about 30 miles away, just across the Pennsylvania state line. The motive for the killing has still not been released.

Eddy’s change-of-venue motion argues that she “cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial in Monongalia County due to the existence of substantial publicity and prejudice presently existing against the defendant.”

Other filings include:

♦ A motion for the state to provide all statements and evidence provided by Shoaf to the police, including any offers for immunity that were made to Shoaf.  Benninger contends in his filing that Shoaf “was laboring under extreme emotional distress, anxiety and duress and/or suffering from a diagnosed mental illness at the time she made incriminating statements concerning herself and defendant Shelia Eddy.”

♦ A motion to dismiss the indictment against Eddy, claiming that investigators “engaged in substantial prosecutorial misconduct” through their contact with Eddy before she was indicated.

♦ A motion to delay a scheduled Oct. 15 pretrial hearing to give the defense more time to file additional motions and gather evidence.

♦ A motion for the prosecution to turn over all relevant evidence it has obtained, including a list of state witnesses and alleged co-conspirators.

Eddy has remained in jail since her arrest earlier this year.

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  • JS

    You're guilty of killing the grammar in your post.

  • Joe

    I guarantee you that no one will ever accuse you falsely of knowing how to spell.

  • justice for skylar

    Shelia is so full of it, she's a sick disgusting person who deserve to be in a cage like the animal she is, as does Rachel.

    • BigDave

      Rachel turns 18 soon and will be moved to the max security for women at Lakin.

      That's when the fun begins for her.

  • annebeth66

    Why are so many people so quick to believe what Rachel has to say about the involvement of Shelia in the murder of Skylar? If she was diabolical enough to kill her, whom she said was murdered because she no longer wanted to be friends, then she may no longer want to be friends with Shelia too. Murder one friend and accuse the other of being involved in the plot. Ruin all the lives around you and cause the community nothing but pain.

    • WVU MOM

      Really? You doubt her guilt? Shoaf confessed to murder. Without her confession (and the subsequent discovery of the body) those girls would be free today. The car in the surveillence video was Eddy's car. The property that the body was dumped on belonged to Eddy's extended family. Her father lived near there. Have you read the text messages and facebook posts that Eddy made? She is the ring leader here. This discussion board is proof positive that girl should have her trial elsewhere. I would say that if a poll were taken, there would be 90% consensus that the Eddy girl is guilty. Her lawyer wants to know what Shaof said so he can spin it and imply that Rachel acted alone. I would bet, if the body wasn't too badly decomposed, that there are two sets of knif wounds, on her ribs, arms, etc. Whatever Rachel confessed to is very likely corroborated by physical evidence.

  • blugldmn

    A courtroom and the truth have nothing to do with each other in this society.

  • winston

    I would like to know what the motive was why did they kill Skylar just seem unreal two young girls killing some sad that these two girls will get to live out there lives but Skylar is gone I would like to slap that smile off her face.

  • Cabell

    Bring her to Cabell County. Rachael had psych diagnosis.... Is guilt a psych diagnosis? REALLY?

    • WVU MOM

      Guilt is why she, Shoaf, had a mental breakdown. Her family did right by her to get her psychiatric help then encourage her to take responsibility for her actions, as horrid as they were.

  • Justin

    She's cute, so knock off 10yrs already

  • Joker

    That smirk will get wiped/smacked off her face when she goes to prison!

  • mauldawg

    How can her lawyer sleep at night? They have no soul. Its all about money. Guilty or not its all about the bank account. This is why lawyers are the most mistrusted group of people in the world. Criminal lawyers are the scum of the earth. You could kill 20 people in cold blood,admit it and they will still try and blame someone else. I love the comment "he/she had a rough up bringing. Get over it,scum is scum.

    • LegalLou

      Well, it's that stupid Constitution that presumes innocence and gives everyone the right to a competent legal defense.

      Maybe he's right. Maybe Shoaf is a nut job and tainted confession while under psychotic drugs.

      • Jim

        Presumption of innocence? Right to competent legal defense? These things are not in the constitution.

      • WVU MOM

        I know, right?. Why don't we just hang all the lawyers and let the criminals fend for themselves.

        Someone has to defend the constitution. In the process, a lot of lawyers get a bad rap. HOWEVER, I have met a few who are down right peculiar, let alone greedy and heartless. On the flip side a have met a few who are sensitive and caring individuals.

        Let's not paint everybody with the same brush. Someone has to shepherd these girls through the system. Shoaf's attorney got off easy by having a client who wanted to be punished for her actions. Eddy's attorney is dealing with a delusional girl who thinks she didn't do anything wrong.

  • Me

    Our can her attorney sleep at night? This is pitiful. Pretty stiff evidence that she is guilty and now he wants to say she want in her right state of mind at the time of questioning? I hare criminal lawyers they are whats wrong with this system!

    • Hillbilly

      Was it ancient Rome or Greece, where if you were convicted, your lawyer went down with you... if he lied about your guilt. We could use some of that these days.

    • must go

      I know an attorney.
      I asked an him once; "how can you defend someone that you know is guilty?"

      He replied; " define guilty....." and he then went into a lecture on what guilty is.

      I never did get a straight answer...go figure.

      • Mickey

        That's why he's a lawyer...

  • Dee

    I know they have to have an attorney to represent these girls, but I also wonder how they can honestly represent those girls and believe in what they have to do to represent. I keep thinking about Skyler Nease just going out with 2 girls that she thought was going to be a fun evening with her friends and ending up dead.

  • Medman

    It never ceases to amaze me how creative the lawyers can be in building a defense case. That is their job, but many times it requires that they attack and discredit honest law enforcement, witnesses and anyone who is simply telling the truth. I wonder how they can honestly rationalize that with themselves.

    • Joe


  • Mike

    Difficult to know what her state is from a single camera shot. But she does seem to have an evil smile.

    • Charlene

      She is From West Virginia

      • john

        Charlene, I think you misunderstood what Mike meant when he mentioned, "Difficult to know what her state is....". He was indicating her state of mind, not where she was from....LOL

  • wvman75

    If her attorney is truly worried about getting a fair trial, he might want to discourage her smirking in court.

    • Jim

      "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed."

      I don't understand how criminals have acquired the right to a "change of venue." The sixth amendment seems to require that the case be tried where the crime was committed.

    • aimie


    • Dee

      I agree. If her attorney is worried about a fair trial , he may as well move the case out of the country. Any state that has heard about the case would not even consider setting her free/or a light sentence.