Man convicted for murder of McDowell doctor says trial was unfai - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Man convicted for murder of McDowell doctor says trial was unfair


MCDOWELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA)--- The man convicted in the murder of a prominent McDowell county doctor says his original trial was unfair.

35-year old Charles Jason Lively was back in court yesterday. Lively was convicted of first degree murder and first degree arson in the 2005 death of Ebb "doc" Whitley.

Whitley, who was confined to a wheelchair died in a fire at his home.

Lively's original trial was held in Putnam County in 2006, but McDowell County judge Booker T. Stevens presided.

Lively now says that Judge Stevens should not have presided in the case and that his public defender was inadequate.

The case was mainly built on witness testimony that placed Lively at the scene...there was no direct physical evidence that tied him to the arson.

Prosecutors say that Lively's motive was an argument that Doc Whitley had with Lively's mother the day before.

Lively's mom worked for Whitley and took care of his finances.

Lively's mom denied the accusations in court testimony.

His conviction was upheld by the West Virginia Supreme Court.

Several wittiness testified yesterday during the hearing...which was presided over by Putnam County Senior Judge John Cummings.

A decision has yet to be made.

A second suspect in the murder case, Tommy Owens, was found not guilty of Doc Whitley's murder.

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