Judge denies double jeopardy motion in Kevin Quick case
WVIR – CHARLOTTESVILLE (WVIR) - A federal judge formally denied a motion for dismissal from two people charged in connection to the murder and abduction of Waynesboro Reserve Police Captain Kevin Wayne Quick.
Prosecutors say alleged gang members abducted and murdered Capt. Quick in January 2014. Quick's body was found a week later in Goochland.
Four suspects - Daniel Mathis, Shantai Shelton, Mersadies Shelton and Kweli Uhuru - are charged with the murder of 45-year-old Quick. Two other suspects - Halisi Uhuru and Anthony Stokes - are not charged in his death, but accused of being the gang's ring leaders in the racketeering conspiracy.
Judge Glen E. Conrad granted a mistrial for all six defendants in May. This was because investigators discovered Kweli Uhuru (also known as Travis Bell) had obtained and shared a list of potential jurors and their information.
In August, attorneys for Kweli Uhuru and Daniel Mathis argued their clients couldn't be tried again because of double jeopardy. They claimed the prosecution caused a mistrial on purpose, and that their clients were forced to agree to a mistrial.
Judge Conrad disagrees with the defense, though he admits things could have been handled differently and perhaps better. In his official memorandum, he wrote:
"In hindsight, one can identify a number of actions that the government could have taken that would have prevented the series of events leading up to the instant motion, such as seeking to empanel an anonymous jury, or advising Agent Cullins and other law enforcement officers, in advance of trial, that the jury panel was not anonymous and that the potential jurors' identifying information would be shared with the defendants."
Judge Conrad ultimately concluded that their claim that double jeopardy was violated is not valid and will not be granted.
In July, the judge granted a change of venue for all of the defendants in the case. Judge Conrad said he intends to have an anonymous jury for the new trial. That means strict rules for any juror information given to defendants during the jury selection process.
The new trial is currently scheduled to take place next February in Roanoke.
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