New trial date set in Murray case
Circuit Judge Gina Groh has set a new trial date of February 19, 2008, for Brian Daniel Murray.
In a 3-2 ruling, the West Virginia Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Murray last month.
Murray, now 50, was found guilty by a jury in February 2005 of failing to stop and render aid to an 18-year-old bicyclist, Justin McAnulty, who was hit and killed by Murray's car on the night of June 15, 2004. In addition to the felony offense, he was also found guilty of failure to maintain control of his vehicle, a misdemeanor.
In his statements to police
at the time, Murray said he
didn't know what he had hit
and that he had stopped and looked around, but saw
nothing. The next morning, he returned to the scene, just north of the U. S. Silica plant, and found the young man's body.
The Supreme Court majority granted the new trial on the grounds that, in her arguments to the jury, Prosecutor Debra McLaughlin unfairly drew attention to the fact that Murray didn't testify in his own behalf.
By the time the retrial was ordered, Murray had served most of his three year sentence.
Katherine McAnulty, the mother of the victim, is also pursuing a lawsuit against Murray and against Town of Bath Police.
The suit alleges that town police did not fully investigate the matter after Murray called a town officer about an hour after the accident. At the first trial, the officer testified that when he went to the Murray house that night, Murray appeared to be drinking whiskey and said he had hit an animal.