WESTON, W.Va. – A motion to move Lena Lunsford’s trial out of Lewis County was denied Monday by Judge Jacob Reger.
Lena Lunsford, who is accused of killing her daughter, Aliayah Lunsford, by hitting her in the head with a solid, handheld object on September 24, 2011, appeared in Lewis County Circuit Court for a change of venue hearing.
The defense called a private investigator to the stand to prove that a change of venue was necessary. The private investigator discussed media coverage on Facebook by multiple outlets in the area and said nearly every comment about the case was very negative. The state countered that argument by stating that most of those comments were not from Lewis County residents.
Judge Reger said a lot of the comments the private investigator considers to be negative may have been neutral, if not positive, and agreed that many of the comments were not from Lewis County.
The motion to change the venue was ultimately denied by Judge Reger. He said if they cannot seat a fair and impartial jury, then he will grant a change of venue at that point.
The defense also requested to set another date for nearly a dozen motions, and a pre-trial hearing was set for January 31 at 10 a.m.
In March 2017, Judge Reger arraigned Lena Lunsford on four felony charges: one count of murder of a child by parent, guardian, or custodian, or other person, by refusal or failure to provide necessities; one count of death of a child by parent, guardian, or custodian, or other person, by child abuse; one count of child abuse resulting in injury; and one count of concealment of a deceased, human body. In May 2017, Lena Lunsford’s trial was continued to the January term of court.