WESTON, W.Va. — Continuance was granted in the case of Lena Lunsford Conaway, a 34 year old former Lewis County resident who is charged in the 2011 disappearance and presumed death of her then 3-year-old daughter Aliayah Lunsford.
The trial is now scheduled for Feb. 13 at 9 a.m. Lewis County Circuit Judge Jake Reger approved the request during a hearing on Thursday.
Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney Christina Flanigan filed a motion in September requesting the continuance for Lunsford Conaway’s case, which was originally scheduled for trial Oct. 12.
Defense Attorney Zach Dyer said a request for continuance is not atypical for a case of this size.
“You’ll see other cases be on the docket for a year or two that are not anywhere near this complex, so it’s not out of the ordinary,” Dyer said.
Fellow Defense Attorney Tom Dyer has said there are almost 100 witnesses in Lunsford Conaway’s trial, creating more than 450 hours of information on disc, compared to the 20 to 40 hours a case would typically see.
Zach Dyer said that the continuance was requested to provide ample time to sort through that evidence.
“There’s still a lot to go through, and I don’t believe that they’ve made it through all of the evidence,” he said. “Mainly, I think that they would not be prepared for the upcoming trial.”
Following Thursday’s hearing, Zach Dyer told MetroNews that the defense will likely request a change of venue before the end of the year.
“That’s something we may still file,” Dyer said. “Clearly, you see online articles and how people comment on the stuff that comes up about Miss Lunsford (Conaway). There seems to be some bias already, so we’re thinking about filing a change of venue, and that would most likely become well before the trial date.”
Defense previously requested a jury consultant to poll potential jurors for the case, to prove whether a change of venue was needed. However, Judge Reger denied that request on July 27.