ELKINS, W.Va. — The trial of an elderly Randolph County man accused in the 2012 shooting death of his wife has been pushed back to the next term of court.
The appointed judge presiding over the case of 85-year-old Theodore Yeager Newlon declared a mistrial Tuesday after the number of potential jurors went below the amount permissible to properly seat a jury while still allowing both sides to have their allotted strikes.
“This is the first time this has ever happened to me,” Senior Status Judge Thomas Keadle said before dismissing the remaining jurors.
While not all, most of the excused individuals cited a conflict of interest having read or seen enough news stories related to the case that they had already made a determination about Newlon’s innocence or guilt.
Others cited reasons including relation to the victim through marriage and work commitments.
Newlon is alleged to have shot and killed his wife Dora Newlon, 68 at the time, at their Gilman home in February of 2012.
He was arrested and charged by the June 2012 term of the Randolph County Grand Jury with one felony count of murder and one felony count of wanton endangerment.
The proceedings were delayed several times as Newlon went through medical conditions and numerous evaluations to determine if he was competent enough to stand trial.
A date for a new trial has not yet been set, but the next term of court is scheduled to begin in March.
Judge Keadle asked Newlon’s lawyers if they were going to request a change of venue, but they requested time to think it over.
A conference between the judge, the state and the defense is scheduled for Friday in hopes of working out a timeline.
In the meantime, Newlon remains in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.