By Lyra Bordelon
The high-profile murder April murder trial against Edward Smith-Allen has been pushed back to April after Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Via announced a key witness had fallen “seriously” ill.
Smith-Allen was indicted by a grand jury in October 2019 for the murder of Alaisia M. Smith in Dorie Miller Park in Lewisburg. Previously, Greenbrier County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dent pushed the trial from the original December 2020 date to April due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the county.
The motion to delay the trial was filed by Via after he was notified a key and necessary witness for the prosecution would not be able to come to the April trial.
“We have been notified of a problem with Dr. Mock, the state’s chief medical examiner and a witness in this case for purposes of an autopsy,” explained Via. “Due to concerns with privacy, I don’t have a great deal of detail other than to say Dr. Mock is currently suffering from what was described as a serious medical condition and would be unavailable to perform his duties until June. Additionally, as would be expected, there is no substitute for Dr. Mock with respect to the performance of the respective testimony in the case.”
Defense attorney Kristopher Faerber objected, but indicated he did not expect the trial to move forward with a key witness unable to testify.
“I don’t really question the basis for his continuance at all, but we are prepared to go to trail, so if you are going to grant this continuance, judge, it’s over our objection, which I understand you can do,” said Faerber.
Dent agreed, finding there is good cause to continue the matter into the next term of court and pushing the trial back to June.