WESTON, W.Va. — Jury selection will be held on April 12 for the trial of Lena Lunsford-Conaway.
Lewis County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Reger approved a continuance for the trial Wednesday.
“The date, here in the middle of April, will give us plenty of time, and this will not be continued again. I’m certain,” Defense Attorney Tom Dyer said. “This will be a very interesting trial. There’s a lot to this, a lot going on in this case.”
Dyer said it’s not abnormal for a case of this size to need extra time before going to trial.
“You never know when you’re getting into these things, especially the really big cases, just how much time you’re going to need,” he said. “The most important thing in these types of trials is that you get it right the first time, and both parties show up adequately prepared and that allows for a fair trial, and that’s what this is all about.”
Approximately 450 hours worth of disclosures were made by the state in the beginning of this case, Dyer said.
“We’ve waded through about all of that, but recently within the last three or four weeks we have stumbled onto some things that raised a few eyebrows and will require some further investigation by some people on the defense team,” he said.
Judge Reger previously denied a change of venue request from Dyer’s defense team on Jan. 8, but Dyer said that will remain at the fore of everybody’s thoughts in the courtroom during jury selection.
“We’re going to be paying close attention to the responses we get during the jury selection process,” he said. “We will be prepared to renew the motion to change the venue at any time throughout that process if it doesn’t appear that we’re going to be able to get a impartial jury as we question the local panel members from here in Lewis County.”
Lunsford-Conaway is charged with numerous felony charges in connection to the 2011 disappearance of her then 3-year-old daughter Aliayah Lunsford.
The trial is set to begin April 16.