CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A Clarksburg man who was charged with the murder of a 7-year-old-boy in 1981 appeared in a Harrison County courtroom Thursday morning for his pre-trial hearing.
William Jeffries, 55, is charged with the murder of Conrad Roger “C.R.” Diaz in February 2018. Diaz was killed in 1981 when he was seven-years-old. The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and West Virginia State Police reopened the case and identified Jeffries as a suspect after reviewing the case and finding new evidence.
Jeffries appeared in front of Judge Thomas Bedell. One of the topics discussed during the pre-trial conference was whether a statement from Jeffries would be admissible as evidence and if there was a violation of his Miranda Rights and 5th Amendment Rights in incriminating himself. Judge Bedell was trying to discover if Jeffries’ statement was voluntary. The prosecution wanted the statement to be admitted into evidence, while the defense wanted it excluded.
Bedell determined that Jeffries came in on his own free will to give his statement. Bedell also said that the court is satisfied with the matter in which the officers collected Jeffries’ statement, which was during a two-hour interview. Bedell said the court will allow the statement to be admitted into evidence, and he denied the defense’s request to suppress it.
Bedell said he will allow the defense to file a motion by August 1 stating Jeffries has a diminished capacity.
Bedell said he was hesitant to move the trial, but he wanted to give Jeffries a fair trial. Jeffries’ trial was moved to the week of November 4 after Jeffries agreed to waive his right to a speedy trial.
Jeffries’ trial was scheduled to begin three weeks from the pre-trial hearing, during the week of August 12; however the defense stated it will need more time to prepare for the trial.