Murder trial again delayed

The murder trial of a Tennessee man has been pushed back for a third time, though no trial date has been set, to allow for his defense attorney to further investigate the case.

Howard Clarence Jenner, 28, has been held without bond in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail since his arrest on Dec. 22, 2011, following a seven-hour manhunt. He is facing a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of his aunt, Beni Truax, and a malicious wounding charge involving her husband.

The shooting is said to have occurred around 4 p.m., Dec. 22, 2011, in the Hodgesville area of Upshur County. Jenner was taken into custody around 11 p.m. that same day along West Virginia Route 20.

R. Russell Stobbs, who became Jenner’s new attorney in November, asked for the delay. Jenner’s trial had been scheduled for Jan. 28, more than a year after Jenner had originally been indicted on the charges.

Upshur County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Keadle did not set a new trial date, citing his retirement at the end of January. Keadle scheduled Jenner to next appear in court on May 20, the date when those indicted by the May term of the grand jury appear for their arraignments. The new judge would then schedule a trial date.

The postponement marks the third delay in the case. Jenner was originally slated to go to trial in April 2012, but that was moved to August and then to Jan. 28. Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Reger did not oppose the delay, but said that without a new trial date, scheduling expert witnesses will be more difficult.