Attorney’s Argument Could Result In Dismissal Of Indictments

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) – An attorney’s argument that a grand jury in West Virginia has served too long could result in hundreds of indictments being dismissed.

The Herald-Dispatch reports defense attorney Russell Cook claims the current Cabell County grand jury has been sitting for about 17 months in a motion to dismiss an indictment against murder suspect 33-year-old Deland Royce Steelman.

State laws say the standard time for a grand jury to sit is one term, about four months. However, that can be extended when repeated complex cases are involved. A judge can also extend that service to up to 18 months if it’s in the public’s interest.

Assistant Prosecutor Sharon Frazier says a judge made the determination, but an order wasn’t issued. Arguments on the dismissal request will be made Friday.