WESTON, W.Va. — The highly anticipated trial of Lena Marie Lunsford-Conway, 34, formerly of Bendale, WV, indicted for numerous charges in connection with the 2011 death of her then 3-year-old daughter Aliayah, is set for June 19, 2017.
A Lewis County Grand Jury indicted Lunsford on March 7 on four felony charges.
Lunsford faces one count of murder of a child by parent, guardian or custodian or other person by refusal or failure to necessities, one count of death of a child by parent, guardian, custodian or other person by child abuse, one count of child abuse resulting in injury and one count of concealment of a deceased human body.
Motions during the discovery period must be filed by May 5, 2017 by Lunsford’s attorney, Barbara Harman-Schamberger. The state will have until May 19, 2017 to respond.
Lena Lunsford is accused of striking her daughter Aliayah in the head during the morning hours of September 24, 2011. She reported her daughter missing, and for more than five years there were no answers for questions about Aliayah’s whereabouts.
During that period of time, Lunsford moved to St. Petersburg, Florida and remarried.
Investigators believe Lunsford withheld potentially life-saving care from her daughter–and wouldn’t allow others in the home to assist her. They also claim Lunsford concealed her daughter’s body, destroyed evidence, and made up a story about her disappearance.
In November 2016, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department in Pinellas County, Florida, arrested Lunsford and processed extradition back to West Virginia.
The location of Aliayah’s remains are still, reportedly, unknown.
Judge Jacob E. Reger declined to set bond for Lunsford.
The first pre-trial hearing is set for June 7, 2017 at 9 a.m.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin June 12, 2017.
Harman-Schamberger verbally indicated to Judge Reger that her client would prefer a trial later in the term.
Reger told Harman-Schamberger that she could file a motion for continuance at another time.