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Manford murder trial rescheduled

Primary witness in state's case is receiving medical treatment

Primary witness in state's case is receiving medical treatment

September 30, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The trial for a Falling Waters, W.Va., man accused of killing a man believed to be his drug supplier in June 2008 and burying the man's body behind a mobile home was rescheduled Wednesday because a primary witness in the state's case was receiving medical treatment.

The trial for Carl Eugene Manford, 51, of 230 Kurtis Drive, was rescheduled by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes for Jan. 12, 2010.

Manford was indicted in February 2009 on felony counts of first-degree murder and grand larceny in the death of James Darrell Tucker. The trial was to begin next week.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela J. Games-Neely told Wilkes in a hearing Wednesday afternoon that her witness was unavailable for the next 18 days because of medical treatment. On Monday, Games-Neely said the witness was in a program in Baltimore for pregnant women who are addicted to drugs.

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"She is medically unable to travel," said Games-Neely, who explained after the hearing that the witness had given birth. After the 18-day period, the woman will be available for trial, Games-Neely said.

Defense attorney B. Craig Manford, who is not related to Carl Manford, told Wilkes he did not object to the state's motion for a continuance and indicated he wanted the opportunity to cross-examine the woman in court.

Carl Manford told the judge he agreed to waive his right to a speedy trial.

Police have said that Tucker, 34, was murdered June 28, 2008. He was reported missing June 29, 2008, after he failed to show up for work the evening of June 28. Authorities exhumed his body July 9 from a shallow grave in a wooded area behind a trailer near Falling Waters that police have said was rented by Carl Manford.

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