Pre-trial hearing held

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The trial of Devin Wayne Fuller, accused of the murder of a Bellaire woman, draws closer and prosecutor and defense attorneys continue to work out the final details of proceedings. Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Solovan II presided.

Fuller 20, 3567 Franklin St., Bellaire, and Brandon Michael Phelps, 21, 1281 Birch St., Bellaire, are charged with four counts of aggravated murder, committed in the course of rape, of aggravated burglary, of burglary and of trespassing. Each count carries a death penalty specification. Both face two additional counts of trespassing.

Solovan heard an update on lab results and attorneys noted the evidence sharing process was ongoing.

The trial date has been set for Feb. 18. The next pre-trials were set for Nov. 15, Dec. 6 and Dec. 20, all at 1 p.m.

In other matters, prosecution and defense also debated disclosure of the witnesses’ juvenile records.

Defense attorneys have also filed a motion opposing the death penalty. Solovan will render a written decision on that matter.

The crimes are alleged to have taken place June 29-30. The victim, Lydia Ashworth, was found dead in her home.

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