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Newell trial delays Circuit Court term

September 29, 1998

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The October term of Berkeley County Circuit Court won't start until November due to the trial of a Martinsburg man charged in the murder of his niece, according to an administrative order by Circuit Judge Thomas W. Steptoe Jr.

West Virginia statute dictates the term should start on the third Tuesday of October, according to the order, dated Sept. 21.

The trial of Michael Newell is set to start Oct. 15 and will require several weeks to complete, according to the order.

Newell is charged with murder and kidnapping in the abduction and death of his 7-year-old niece, Jessica Newell.

The girl was reported missing on Sept. 18, 1997, from Pikeside Bowl, where she had gone with her parents. Her body was found two days later on North Mountain.

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The October term will begin Nov. 4 with the convening of the grand jury, according to order. Arraignments will take place Nov. 13, according to the order.

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