The Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office has accepted the case involving the murder of the late Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.
Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants said he and Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Fred Giggenbach will prosecute the case, said Plants in a phone interview Tuesday.
"I think it will definitely be interesting," he said.
Jury selection in the trial of Tennis Melvin Maynard is scheduled to begin Dec. 9 in Mingo County.
Maynard is accused of shooting Crum April 3 as the sheriff ate lunch in his parked vehicle in downtown Williamson. He also is charged with attempted murder linked to the pointing of a loaded firearm at Mingo County Sheriff's Corporal Norman Mines and fleeing with reckless indifference. Maynard has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
A motions hearing will be held Oct. 15.
Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks recused himself from the case last week, claiming new information could present a conflict of interest.
Plants said he spoke to Sparks briefly about the case when they arranged to transfer the case files.
The Kanawha County Prosecutor acknowledged the murder trial is a high-profile case, but he said he does not see a conflict of interest at this time.
"I avoid watching news, reading newspapers too often," said Plants, during a press conference Tuesday. "I'm aware of basic details, but I'm not aware of any real specific facts of the case through the media.
Plants said he will review the facts of the case, then decide whether to request a change of venue.
The trial is scheduled to take place in Mingo County under Cabell County judge Paul Farrell.
"There's no pressure," Plants said. "We take the evidence we have, I present it to a jury in the most persuasive way I can, then the jury makes the decision."
During an interview last month, Maynard's father said that his son shot and killed the sheriff because he sexually assaulted his son. Melvin Maynard said it happened couple of years ago. Leslie Maynard, a brother to Tennis, said that the family tried to file charges about six months ago. They claim the paperwork was thrown out.
The Mingo County prosecutor would not comment specifically on the allegations. "It's been a very comprehensive investigation. We've investigated what would be perceived as unfavorable evidence or unfavorable allegations as well as favorable allegations," said Michael Sparks.
He said he was unaware of the sexual molestation claims until recently.