CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The State Supreme Court agreed by 3-2 decision to uphold the conviction of a Preston County man found guilty of fatally shooting his girlfriend in 2015.
John Wayne Strawser Jr., 40, formerly of Terra Alta, was sentenced to life in prison last October in the April 2015 murder of Amy Lou Buckingham. The shooting occurred outside of Buckingham’s Tunnelton home in Preston County.
Strawser appealed the conviction on the grounds that there wasn’t evidence to sustain convictions. He alternatively requested the State Supreme Court to grant a new trial.
Part of Strawser’s appeal included a denied pre-trial motion to change the venue of the trial out of Preston County, the media coverage of the 2015 murder, the media coverage of Strawser’s second arrest in connection to an unsolved 2014 Pennsylvania homicide after the shooting of Buckingham, and the overall sentiment in Preston County. He also appealed on the grounds that a West Virginia State Police trooper stationed in Preston County submitted evidence that had been obtained unconstitutionally.
During the trial, the state ceded that point, but the evidence was allowed to be permitted due to an independent exception rule — since police obtained a warrant six months later based on other information.
Strawser is currently in prison in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He is charged with first-degree murder tied to the Jan. 2014 killing of a motorist on I-81 in Pennsylvania.
Justices Robin Davis and Margaret Workman dissented from the majority.