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7/24/2013 3:19:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Judge grants change of venue in Westall case
LAWRENCEVILLE - If or when Helen Marie Westall goes to trial one thing is certain: It won't be in Lawrence County.

During a pre-trial hearing Tuesday in Lawrence County Circuit Court, Judge Robert Hopkins granted a motion for a change of venue in the case.

Helen Marie Westall was arrested in late March of 2012 - 16 months ago - and was one of two people charged in connection with the slaying death of her uncle, 78-year-old Robert Westall. Helen Westall was charged with solicitation of murder and solicitation of murder for hire. She has pled not-guilty.

Tyler R. McQueen, 21, Mount Carmel, who was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the case, was found guilty in early May of first degree murder in Westall's death.

McQueen's recent trial, and upcoming sentencing hearing (set for Aug. 23) are a big reason why Westall's court-appointed attorney, Brad Vaughn, filed his motion to have his client's trial moved to another county.

A pre-trial status hearing has been set for 1 p.m. Aug. 26 in Lawrence County Circuit Court. It is expected that a county will be selected at that time. A trial date could also be set.

Between now and then, Hopkins said he needed to contact the chief judge's office and determine which courthouses in the region will be able to host the trial.

Westall is being held by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department in lieu of a $3 million cash bond.

(See Wednesday's Daily Record print edition for complete story)


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