The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 15, 2013

Atwell trial delayed; jury will hear statements

By Bill Archer
For The Register-Herald

PRINCETON — The trial of a Mercer County man who stands charged with first degree murder, two counts of robbery and child abduction has been continued until May 28, but the jury will get to hear statements that the defendant made after his capture, as a result of rulings made in Mercer County Circuit Court on Thursday.

Tracy Lee Atwell, 39, of Camp Creek, appeared in court Thursday morning for a suppression hearing concerning two statements that he made, according to Assistant Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Janet Williamson.

“The court ruled for the state for both of the statements,” Williamson said. The hearing was held in the court of Mercer County Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope, the presiding judge in the case.

“The defense asked the court to continue the trial until May 28, and the court granted that motion,” Williamson said. Atwell is represented by Derrick Lefler and Paul Cassell.

Atwell’s charges stem from events that took place in early April 2012. Atwell is charged with killing his estranged wife, binding his parents in their home and abducting his (then) 8-year-old daughter, Porsche. State police captured Atwell on April 14, 2012, without incident following a two-day manhunt. His daughter was unharmed physically.

— Bill Archer is a writer for The Bluefield Daily Telegraph