10-31-2009 West Virginia:
A man accused of killing a fellow inmate at the Preston County Jail in 2005 will stand trial next year.
Leonard Wotring III has pleaded not guilty in the first-degree murder of Timothy Daft, of Independence, who had been in the Kingwood jail on charges of sexually abusing a toddler.
Wotring was indicted last week, and his trial is set for January 12.
He is now an inmate at the Mount Olive Correctional Center, serving 3 to 15 years for the attempted murder of his grandfather.
Daft's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming Daft was attacked by Wotring and other inmates. It claims then-Sheriff Ron Crites knew about the attack and did nothing, then concealed information from Daft's family.
The death was initially labeled a suicide. ..Source.. by WSHV.com
Inmate indicted in jail hanging: Wotring charged with murder for '05 Preston crime
The last of three 2005 hangings that occurred in the Preston County Jail was not a suicide.
Timothy Daft, of Independence, was found hanging in a cell at the jail Aug. 3, 2005, and died at Ruby Memorial Hospital the next day. At the time, his death was ruled a suicide.
But Tuesday, a Preston County grand jury indicted Leonard Earl Wotring III, 25, for first degree murder in Daft's death.
"Mr. Wotring was charged with the murder of another inmate while both were incarcerated in the Preston County Jail," Preston County Prosecuting Attorney Mel Snyder said. "Timothy Daft's death at the time appeared to be a suicide, but evidence discovered later has now shown it to be a murder."
Wotring is serving time for attempted murder in the first degree. A resident of Terra Alta at the time, he entered his grandfather's bedroom, pointed a rifle at him and fired twice, according to the criminal complaint from November 2004.
In October 2005, he was sentenced to serve not less than three nor more than 15 years in prison. He was eligible for parole in August. That parole was denied, according to Snyder.
A correctional officer making rounds at the jail found Daft, who had been hanged with a pillowcase. He had been incarcerated in lieu of $50,000 bond, accused of sexually abusing a toddler.
An attorney representing Daft's brother, Russell Stuyvesant, filed a wrongful death suit against the Preston County Commission in October 2007. But Preston Circuit Court Judge Lawrance Miller ruled that a two-year statute of limitations had passed when the suit was filed. Stuyvesant's attorney appealed that decision to the West Virginia Supreme Court. The court upheld Miller's ruling. Daft's was the last of three hangings that occurred in the course of three weeks at the Preston County Jail. The jail was closed Aug. 5, 2005, when the Tygart Valley Regional Jail opened. ..Source.. by Michelle Wolford