The Q&Ds have begun in the Westall murder case: UPDATE
UPDATE: We’ve received word that both defendants are making an appearance this morning, 04.25.12, and we have a correspondent at the courthouse. We have NO idea why the change, but there it is. We’ll bring you updates later today, with possibly video and photos. Here is the original post, unaltered.
LAWRENCE CO.—What’s a Q&D, you ask?
It’s what we legal observers in the outside world call “quick & dirties,” little tricks lawyers—both the state, and the defense—use in order to forward (or stall, in some instances) their cases with the minimum of warning, for whatever the reason du jour is.
In the case of Tyler McQueen, 20, who, along with Helen Marie Westall, 47, is charged with the murder of her uncle, Bob Westall, 78, in late March in Lawrenceville, it’s hard to say who took the steps that occurred yesterday, April 23, or exactly why, but the effect was the same: there will be no preliminary hearing tomorrow for McQueen, thus thwarting our opportunity to get vid or tape of the young man as he’s going into or out of the courthouse….because Wednesday’s originally-planned setting was all taken care of rather abruptly yesterday.
Paperwork showed thatMcQueen obtained Mt. Carmel mega-attorney George Woodcock along with Bill Hudson as his counsel, and on April 17, they filed a motion to continue the April 25 arraignment to May 16.
Lawrence County state’s attorney Lisa Wade objected to this course of action on April 18, and asked that the motion be set for a hearing yesterday, April 23, at 10:30 a.m.
The hearing was thus set, and when everybody was there, there were several motions entered by the defense….and then he abruptly waived preliminary and entered a plea of not guilty, thus effectively having the arraignment anyway.
Therefore, there’s no hearing Wednesday, there’ll be no prelim (wherein we hear facts of the case in what many call a “mini trial” to see if the threshold of evidence can be met to bind someone over for trial)….and we’re all screwed out of knowing any further details, including what the defense might be. Although that looks like it’s going to be a big fight anyway, judging by the volume of paperwork Woodcock has filed already.
Helen Marie Westall, on the other hand, is still set for hearing on April 25 at 11 a.m…..at which time she’ll probably waive prelim too, and we’ll be left hanging for months not knowing which way the cases are going to go.
More in the print version, on stands in North Counties in two weeks.
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