Shelia Eddy entered into a plea agreement in Monongalia County Circuit Court. Her trial was slated to begin this week. In the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to recommending mercy during the sentencing which would allow Eddy to be eligible for parole once she’s served 15 years.
Included with the plea agreement, in exchange for Eddy’s guilty plea, prosecutors would drop the kidnapping charge as well as two charges of conspiracy. When Judge Russell Clawges asked Eddy how she pleaded, she was visibly upset as she responded, “Guilty.”
David Neese, the victim’s father testified in court saying that since the day his daughter disappeared “my life and my wife’s life have been drastically altered. We’re no longer a family. You can look into the eyes of those who were responsible but you can never know what they heard as they were taking her life.”
Neese spoke with reporters after the hearing and described the fact that Eddy didn’t speak to the court nor did she apologize as “unacceptable.”
According to prosecutors, Eddy and friend, Rachel Shoaf lured Neese, an honors student out of her bedroom in July 2012 then drove her to the Macdale community. There was Neese was stabbed to death and the girls covered her body with branches.
Her body was just across the Pennsylvania border and went undiscovered for many months. In January 2013, Shoaf cracked with the knowledge of what they had done and finally told police investigators what had happened and where they would find Neese’s body.
In May 2013, Shoaf pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is currently awaiting sentencing. Prosecutors have revealed that they plan on recommending to the judge that Shoaf receive a 20 year sentence.
Prosecutors also stated that they would fight any move by Shoaf’s lawyers to have her sentenced as a juvenile. Shoaf could face up to 40 years in prison under the current law.
Monongalia County Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown revealed that Eddy and Skylar Neese began their friendship in grade school. In the weeks leading up to the murder, the girls had gone to the beach together but afterward felt like their friendship was dissolving.
Ashdown stated in regards to the friendship failing, “If that were to happen, Sheila and Rachel worried that Skylar would divulge their secrets, the kinds of secrets perhaps that girls have, and other things.”
On the night of the murder, once Skylar Neese returned home from work, Shoaf and Eddy hid kitchen knives in their clothes, put a shovel and clean clothes in the car and went to get Neese. According to Ashdown, the two didn’t bury Neese because they “couldn’t dig into the hard earth at that time.”
Judge Clawges has ordered Eddy to stay in the juvenile facility until the Department of Corrections makes room for her in one of its prisons. According to Clawges, the state regional jail is overcrowded thus they couldn’t accept Eddy.
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