The Times West Virginian

March 9, 2013

Bush awarded new trial in ’82 cases

Felony murder convictions reversed; defendant remains in Mt. Olive complex

By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — The two felony murder convictions against Phillip Reese Bush from a 1982 double homicide in Fairmont have been reversed, and he has been awarded a new trial on those charges.

This is according to documents received late Friday afternoon from Robert G. McCoid, the Wheeling attorney who has been representing Bush since 2007.

According to those documents, on Feb. 15, James P. Mazzone of the Ohio County Circuit Court granted Bush’s petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, setting aside those 1983 murder convictions and awarding him a new trial.

Bush has been incarcerated at Mt. Olive Correctional Complex since 1983 on those convictions of murdering Charles Goff and Kathleen Williams in September 1982.

The order was signed one week before he was indicted for the 1974 triple Windmill Park murders. Trial date has been set for May 15.

Marion County Circuit Judge David R. Janes, who was Bush’s defense co-counsel in that 1983 trial, and Marion County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick N. Wilson could not be reached for comment. William T. Holmes, Bush’s second defense counsel, had no comment, citing attorney-client privilege.

It had to do with how that 1983 jury was instructed, a source said.


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