EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSDAVID KINNEY
from Eyewitness News Online
Two Year Old Charleston Murder Case Still Playing Out In Court
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Aug. 23, 2012 10:27 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 24, 2012 1:08 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A murder case that went all the way to the West Virginia State Supreme Court goes back before a Kanawha County judge, but is making little progress.
Jeremy Parsons was murdered on July 4, 2010 at a Charleston intersection. David Kinney was arrested several months later, and is the only suspect.
Judge Carrie Webster threw out what prosecutors called key evidence in the case, but the high court ruled it could be used at trial.
"I look at other trials where they're arrested this year and they're already on the way to prison," says Parsons' mother, Lynne Parsons. She's still holding on to hope for justice for her murdered son. A crime that was allegedly sparked by a fight over a girl.
It's a complex case that, like all others, comes down to evidence. Evidence that at one point was no where to be found.
"It's just stunning to me that these things went missing for a year or more," said Kinney's lawyer during a Thursday hearing.
Relatively unusual 10 millimeter shell casings were collected from the scene, and at one point were sent to England in an effort to lift fingerprints.
"At no time were they out of circulation. They were either in custody of the police, an agency of the police, or the West Virginia State Police Crime Lab," said Detective James Hunt with the Charleston Police Department.
It's those shell casings that have been front and center. At one point, they were thought to be lost, but were later found at the state police crime lab. The problem was that the evidence was labeled under the victim's name, rather than the suspect's.
"I had never dreamed to ask under the victim's name," explained Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Erica Lord.
Webster previously ruled the state couldn't use the shell casings as evidence at trial, but the State Supreme Court disagreed saying she made a "clear legal error."
"This was not about missing evidence, it was always about due diligence," she explained during the hearing.
More than four hours of testimony from detectives and state police crime lab technicians focused mostly on how those shell casings were handled directly after the homicide until now.
Lynne Parsons also testified about another piece of evidence in the case...the car the victim was driving when he was shot. Parsons told Eyewitness News she had the car crushed after police released it to her.
"The Supreme Court did not have before it other issues that this court does have before it," said Webster.
"I can not wait for this to be over so I can visit my son's grave and let him know exactly where we're at with this," said Parsons.
Webster recently released Kinney from home confinement while he awaits trial on the first degree murder charge.
Another hearing has been set for September 20th.
Webster made no rulings at Thursday's hearing, despite pleas from the state to do so. No trial date has been set, but Webster says she hopes to try the case this year.
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