9-19-13 Teen arraigned in ex-friend’s slaying

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia girl indicted in the 2012 stabbing death of her onetime best friend pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder and other charges.

Seventeen-year-old Shelia Eddy was arraigned in Monongalia County Circuit Court on one count each of first-degree murder and kidnapping, and two counts of conspiracy.

Circuit Judge Russell Clawges set trial for the week of Oct. 22.

Star City teen Skylar Neese was lured out of her house in July 2012, then stabbed to death. Her body was hidden under some branches in woods just across the Pennsylvania border.

Prosecutors say Eddy and friend Rachel Shoaf plotted the murder, though a potential motive hasn’t been revealed.

Eddy wore an orange jumpsuit and wrist and ankle shackles at the hearing. Seven sheriff’s deputies and two corrections officers were stationed in the courtroom.

Skylar Neese’s father, Dave Neese, attended, as well as about 10 supporters, some of whom cried as Eddy prepared to enter her plea.

Neese quietly cursed at Eddy as she was led out of the courtroom. Neese said Eddy smiled at him initially and tried to make eye contact. He left the courtroom but returned.

Neese said he’ll attend each day of the trial no matter how long it takes. He said he’s had no contact from Eddy, her family or her attorney. “I don’t want to, either,” he said.

Eddy’s name became public this month, when prosecutors transferred her case from juvenile to adult court.

Shoaf has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is awaiting sentencing.

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