Day 2 Wesley Earnest Re-Trial: Testimony Begins - - ABC13

Day 2 Wesley Earnest Re-Trial: Testimony Begins

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Reporter: Jeremy Mills

Amherst Co., VA - On Tuesday in the Wesley Earnest murder trial, the defense team suffered a set-back in their strategy.

The judge ruled they cannot bring up the criminal record of one of the victim's co-workers at Genworth.

In the first trial, the defense argued that the arrest for ID theft could have been motivation for someone else to shoot and kill Jocelyn Earnest.

The third party defense was expected to be a big part of this trial, as it was in the first trial.

Just days before she was killed, Jocelyn Earnest went to the Amherst County Sheriff's Office with her friend Maysa Muncie. Muncie was facing charges of stealing the identity of a third Genworth employee.

Because Jocelyn Earnest was a fraud manager, it's possible she could have been killed to help cover up that crime.

The defense was hoping to use this theory to generate reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury, but the judge didn't buy it, saying it was totally irrelevant to this case.

On Monday, we reported that a sheriff's deputy is handling the evidence in this case, but that's before it's submitted to the court. After that, deputy circuit court clerks are maintaining all of this evidence to make sure none of the wrong stuff ends up again with the jury.


Amherst Co., VA - In day two of the Wesley Earnest murder re-trial, the morning was spent with attorneys' opening statements.

Witnesses are expected to take the stand around noon Tuesday.

There were two sets of opening statements Tuesday morning. Compared to the first trial, as far as the lengths of the statements, they were almost identical.

Prosecutor Wes Nance was again concise, keeping his presentation to 22 minutes. In it, he told the jury he would prove Wesley Earnest's guilt by showing he's the only one linked to the fake suicide note and the 357 revolver used to take her life.

Nance also pointed out Earnest stood to gain a lot of money by his wife's death. On the side of the defense, Joe Sanzone once again spoke for more than an hour. He claims his client couldn't have killed Jocelyn Earnest because he was in Chesapeake the night she died.

He also informed the jury how Jocelyn had entered into a relationship with a female co-worker. That co-worker is expected to take the stand Tuesday afternoon.

We'll have the latest on that testimony tonight on 13 News at 6:00.

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