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7/5/2013 2:42:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Change of venue hearing rescheduled in Westall case
LAWRENCEVILLE - It has been said "the wheels of justice turn slowly." That expression has never been more true than with the Helen Marie Westall case. 

Helen Westall, charged with solicitation of murder and soliciaton of murder for hire in the death of her uncle, 78-year-old Robert Westall, was arrested, along with Tyler R. McQueen on March 30, 2012.

McQueen was convicted of first degree murder May 3, however Helen Westall has not yet gone to trial.

A pre-trial hearing in Lawrence County Circuit Court Wednesday, to deal with a motion for a change of venue, was postponed.

During the 10-minute hearing, the prosecution, Lawrence County State's Attorney Chris Quick and special state prosecutor Michael Vujovich, asked for more time to prepare their response to the change of venue motion.

Defense attorney Brad Vaughn did not object to the delay and a 1 p.m. July 23 date was set to deal with the matter.

Should the motion be granted by presiding judge Robert Hopkins, a county with a courthouse large enough to handle the case and its regular case load will have to be found and then a trial date can be set.

Helen Westall, 48, has entered a plea of not guilty to soliciting McQueen to kill Robert Westall in exchange for $10,000 and a 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. Since her arrest, Westall has been housed in the Crawford County Jail in lieu of a $3 million cash bond.

There have been more than 20 pre-trail hearings, status hearings or conference calls regarding Helen Westall's case since her arrest.

In late March of 2012, Robert Westall was found stabbed to death in the bedroom of a cottage on the United Methodist Village campus.

McQueen, 21, was found guilty of entering the apartment and killing Westall. McQueen's sentencing hearing has been set for 10 a.m. Aug. 23 in Lawrence County Circuit Court.

The sentencing hearing had been scheduled for June 28.


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