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Man accused in W.Va. slaying granted earlier trial

April 27, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The trial for a 23-year-old man accused in the July 2008 shooting death of Kenneth E. Waybright has been rescheduled for an earlier date this summer at the defendant's request, attorneys involved with the case said on Monday.

The trial for Elan Bell-Veney of Martinsburg was rescheduled for July 13, according to defense attorney, Eric S. Black.

"Elan wants to go to trial sooner than later," Black said after the hearing. The trial had been scheduled for Aug. 17.

Bell-Veney was indicted in February on one count of first-degree murder, three counts of wanton endangerment and two counts of malicious assault in the July 20, 2008, shooting.

Waybright, 37, of Stephens City, Va., was determined by police to be an innocent bystander in the shooting, police have said. He was fatally wounded by a bullet that ricocheted and struck him in the head, police have said.

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Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Jean Games-Neely said discussions about a possible plea in the case have been happening based on the state's evidence.

Black, meanwhile, has appealed a decision last month by presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III to revoke his client's bond.

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