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Harrison County murder trial to be set in January

CADIZ — Harrison County officials hope to set a jury trial early next year in the murder of a Bellaire woman.

Samuel Farnsworth, 48, of Cadiz appeared before Judge T. Shawn Hervey in Harrison County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday morning for a pretrial hearing. He made the appearance via video conference to answer charges of murder and abuse of a corpse.

Farnsworth’s attorney, Anthony Pincola, said the defense would like to set a jury trial date for the case during the first week in January.

Farnsworth has been incarcerated since his arrest in April for the murder of 40-year-old Sherry Lynn Shrieve. Shrieve’s body was discovered alongside a rural road outside of New Athens in early March. She had been shot to death, according to reports.

Pincola said the defense received the bill of particulars and discovery from the state; however, they are missing documentation regarding possible charges pending against Farnsworth in Belmont County.

Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Bruzzese said the state has not yet recieved the information from Belmont County, but wil soon obtain it and turn it over to the defense since it may be used as evidence in the murder trial.

“Mr. Farsworth, when he was taken into custody, had taken police on a bit of a chase there and is facing charges in Belmont County. I don’t have all of that information, but I think a lot of that information, what’s in those reports, might be admissible in trial as consciousness of guilt evidence, so certainly we will obtain that,” Bruzzese said.

Another pretrial hearing will be set in about two weeks. At that time, the state must have obtained the information and will deliver it to the defense.

Hervey said he will look at the next available date the court has for a week-long trial and give Farnsworth the option to choose the date for his jury trial.

“You will get the first pick of my earliest date because you’ve been in jail for a long time and we need to get this thing moving. I assume that because it’s a murder case and there’s a lot of evidence involved that it’s appropriate to set it for a whole week. I don’t want to start a trial and stop it when it’s a murder case,” he said.

The exact trial date will be announced at a later time.

Farnsworth remains in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of a $2 million bond in the homicide case.

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