The Times West Virginian

Local News

November 9, 2013

Washington’s trial set to begin Nov. 18

For alleged role in in triple Windmill Park homicides

FAIRMONT — At this point, Eddie Jack Washington is set to go on trial Nov. 18 for his alleged role in the triple 1974 Windmill Park homicides.

What could be the final pretrial motions have been filed.

Marion County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick N. Wilson, and the defense team of Neal Jay Hamilton and Holly Turkett have submitted their witness and evidence lists.

Witnesses have been subpoenaed.

Marion Circuit Judge Michael Aloi has cleared his docket for the week of Nov. 18.

Washington, 60, was arrested on Feb. 7, 2013, for his alleged role in the murders of Fairmont residents Guy Lester Phillips, 20, and his wife, Wanda Jane Phillips, 19, and Billy Ray Cobb, 27, all of Fairmont’s Montgomery Avenue area.

Their bodies were found — each shot execution-style at close range in the head, and lined up one by one by one — by groundskeepers in the early morning hours of Aug. 2, 1974, at Windmill Park.

Washington was arrested without incident Feb. 7 in Tampa, Fla., and extradited to West Virginia. After being arraigned before Aloi, he has remained incarcerated at the North Central Regional Jail without bond since.

Those murders remained unprosecuted for almost 39 years.

A co-defendant, Phillip Reese Bush, also was also indicted by a Marion County grand jury on the three homicides.

He is incarcerated at Mount Olive Correctional Complex on a double-murder conviction in 1983. He was scheduled to stand trial separately the same week as Washington, but his trial has been continued indefinitely.

Defense and prosecution appeared before Aloi Friday morning to tie up loose ends.

Aloi denied the defense’s motion to exclude certain witnesses from the prosecution’s list of 57.

The defense is calling 21 witnesses, 11 of whom are also on the prosecution’s list.

According to the defense witness list, Washington is scheduled to testify on his own behalf.

Bush has been called by the prosecution to testify against Washington.

The defense also moved to be able to take one of its witnesses, Dr. Robert Thompson, out of order.

He is scheduled to be out of the country after late in that week and is being called to review the autopsy report prepared in 1974 by Dr. Milton F. Hales, West Virginia University Hospitals pathologist, now deceased.

Wilson agreed to that motion.

At the Oct. 1 pretrial motion hearing, Hamilton had requested access to “all records” pertaining to an alleged witness to the murders.

According to his handwritten statement to Fairmont Police, John Ford claimed he had been with Bush and Washington when the three victims were murdered at Conley Farms in the Bellview area of Fairmont.

Ford, on both the defense and prosecution witness lists, now lives in Minnesota.

Aloi is still considering the motion by the defense to suppress Washington’s testimony he gave at an in camera suppression hearing in August.

Washington’s trial will begin with jury selection at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in the Circuit Division I courtroom.

Email Debra Minor Wilson at dwilson@timeswv.com.

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