The Times West Virginian

September 13, 2013

Lee takes step toward new murder trial

Hearing scheduled for next Thursday in Marion County court

By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Donell D. Lee, convicted of first-degree murder in 2008 of the 2007 shooting death of a South Carolina man, will appear before Marion Circuit Judge David R. Janes next Thursday in what could be the first step to a new trial.

On Aug. 29, 2008, Lee was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting death of Derrick “Lil Dee” Osborne in May 2007.

He was later sentenced by Marion Circuit Judge David R. Janes to life in prison.

Lee’s attorney, Sherman Lambert of Martinsburg, filed a writ of habeas corpus with the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia that the conviction had been made on eight assignments of error.

“We filed a petition to the Supreme Court of Appeals under the old rules,” Lambert saud frim his Martinsburg office. “They did not have to hear (all the points). They could summarily dismiss, so they did.

“The rules have changed since then. They never issued rulings on these eight counts.”

In 2010, the rules of appellate procedure were revised by the state Court of Appeals

“Then we filed a writ of habeas corpus before Judge Janes, who had heard the evidence during the trial. He dismissed the writ on seven of our eight grounds under the theory that the Supreme Court of Appeals had already heard the matters, but they hadn’t because they’d been filed under the old rules.

“We went back to the Supreme Court after Janes dismissed the petition.”


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