New Wesley Earnest Trial Begins Monday - - ABC13

New Wesley Earnest Trial Begins Monday


Reporter: Jeremy Mills

Bedford Co., VA - Back in April Wesley Earnest was convicted of murdering his wife. But a judge overturned the conviction after members of the jury saw evidence that should have been withheld.

Starting Monday, Earnest gets his do-over, a new trial, this time in a new location.

You can call it a second chance for Earnest.  The former Jefferson Forest and Heritage High School educator will sit through another murder trial next week.

"My son is innocent, I believe that in my heart. I love Jocelyn but my son did not murder this woman. And to me, it is just another tragedy in our lives," said Pat Wimmer, Earnest's mother on April, 5 during the trial.

"It's actually an age-old story of greed and lust, sex and money and Wesley Earnest saw his wife, his estranged wife as an obstacle to both of those things," said Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Wes Nance (March 23).

Prosecutors say Earnest shot his wife in the head in December 2007 and staged it to look like a suicide.  They say they found a suicide note with his fingerprints on it.

"It is a homicide note and not a suicide note. It capsulates to a great degree, our theory of this case," said Bedford County Commonwealth Attorney Randy Krantz (March 23). 

"Certainly the commonwealth's case, without the fingerprint evidence would have been a very weak case and may not have survived the motion to strike," said Joe Sanzone, Wesley Earnest's Defense Attorney on April 5.

Earnest testified in the first trial, saying he's only guilty of breaking Jocelyn Earnest's heart by cheating on her.

"My attitude toward her was that she was an incredible person. I hurt her badly and I know I screwed up. I did not handle the situation like it should have been," said Earnest (April 1).

"She had expressed fear to me, she didn't feel safe and was afraid of Wes Earnest," said Marcy Shepherd, Jocelyn's Co-Worker (March 24).

Like the original trial, the re-trial is scheduled to take two full weeks.

"There are almost as many underlying themes in this case as there are blades of grass in front of the courthouse," said Sanzone (March 21).

This new trial will take place in Amherst County.

The jury will be selected from residents of Nelson County.

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