- Associated Press - Monday, January 20, 2014

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - The trial for 74-year-old William Felix Vail on a second-degree murder charge in the death of his wife, Mary Horton Vail, 50 years ago will be held in Calcasieu Parish.

The American Press reports (https://bit.ly/1jiyU2l ) that Judge Robert Wyatt denied this past week a defense motion for a change of venue. Wyatt said he believed unbiased jurors could be found in the parish and that media coverage has not been overly extensive.

Prosecutors say Vail allegedly killed his wife in October 1962. He claims she drowned in the Calcasieu River while they were running trotlines.

Vail has pleaded not guilty. A trial date has not been set.

Vail was arrested at the time of Mary Vail’s death, but a grand jury decided it could not come to a decision whether to indict him.

After the case was recently re-opened, he was arrested in May in Canyon Lake, Texas, where he was living at the time. He is currently being held without bond at Calcasieu Correctional Center.

Vail is also believed to be the last person to see two missing women alive.

Sharon Hensley was reported missing in 1973 and Annette Craver Vail was reported missing in 1984.

Wyatt has not ruled a motion to exclude evidence pertaining to the other missing women. One of the pieces of evidence was a suitcase found in a room of a house in Tulsa, Okla., that Vail sold.

The suitcase was kept in a room that Vail kept locked while he rented out the home, Calcasieu sheriff’s detective Randy Curtis said. Once Vail sold the home, he retrieved some items from the room then told the renters they could have the rest, Curtis said. Inside the suitcase were clothes of the style worn by Craver Vail and birth control pills with her name on the label.

Wyatt said he will rule on March 19.


Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com



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