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4/3/2013 2:34:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Trial dates moves closer for McQueen, Westall
LAWRENCEVILLE - The trial for Tyler R. McQueen, charged with the March 2012 slaying of local resident 78-year-old Robert Westall, is less than three weeks away.

McQueen, charged with two counts of murder, was in Lawrence County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon for another pretrial motions hearing. His trial is set to begin April 22.

Matthew Vaughn, McQueen's court-appointed attorney, special prosecutor Michael Vujovich and Lawrence County State's Attorney Chris Quick discussed the admissibility of possible evidence issues before judge Robert Hopkins.

Vujovich said the prosecution has a large volume of photos, noting all are gruesome, the question being which ones will be admissible in the trial.

Which photos will be admissible and which will not will be determined during a final pre-trial hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. April 10. That court proceeding is expected to last most of the day.

The attorneys also discussed the admission of texts, e-mails, Facebook posts etc., another issue that still needs to be sorted out before the trial.

A 1 p.m. April 10 teleconference was set for 1 p.m. with Vaughn, Vujovich and Hopkins, who will discuss a video of McQueen with police, determining at what points the video must be stopped or edited.

A handful of apparent McQueen family members were present in the small courtroom for Tuesday's hearing.

Following McQueen's hearing, the second person charged in connection with Robert Westall's death, his niece, Helen Marie Westall, also made a court appearance.

Helen Westall, 48, is charged with solicitation of murder and solicitation of murder for hire. She is accused of offering then 20-year-old Tyler R. McQueen $10,000 and a 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme in return for killing her uncle.

Her trial is set for May 13 with another pre-trial hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. April 30.

During Tuesday's hearing, Westall's court-appointed attorney, Brad Vaughn, the Lawrence County Public Defender, told Hopkins he wanted to give Westall a large amount of "discovery,"  to read, hundred of pages.

Before Westall is given investigation accounts, it must be determined if law enforcement at Crawford County Jail, where Westall is being housed, will agree to her reading the material outside of Vaughn's presence.

Both Tyler McQueen and Helen Westall were arrested in late March of 2012, about a week after the crime was committed. Since that time, both have been injail in lieu of $3 million cash bond. Both have entered pleas of not-guilty to the charges.



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