The two-day jury trial of a Caroline County man charged with manslaughter scheduled to start today is expected to be postponed until next year.
According to a court order last week, Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Latney asked the court to appoint a “substitute attorney” in the case of John Wayne Peck, 27, because “it would be improper for him to act.”
Judge Horace Revercomb then appointed Spotsylvania Commonwealth’s Attorney Bill Neely to the case and the jury was called off.
Neely said yesterday the reason Latney asked to be excused from trying the case was because of complaints.
“Apparently, the victim’s family was upset in the handling of the case,” Neely said.
Latney’s motion came before he lost last week’s race for re-election to Tony Spencer, who takes over the office in January.
Latney refused to talk about why he would not prosecute Peck.
Neely said that after the election, he called Revercomb and asked if Spencer could be put on the case. There should be a decision in Circuit Court today.
Peck was charged with first degree murder in October 2006 after his hunting buddy, Jerry Curtis Beverly, was fatally shot in the chest. Latney later reduced his charge to manslaughter.
Sheriff Tony Lippa said Peck and Beverly had been hunting and drinking before getting into an argument. Beverly was later found dead.
Comment that was left:
November 14, 2007 at 1:48 pm
I am the victim’s daughter in this case. I want to first say Thank you for your concern for my family. We are not at all disappointed about having to wait until next year to have the case tried. We fought hard to get Mr. Latney off my father’s case. So today was a bittersweet day. We were happy to have Mr. Latney off the case, but never the less it does not change the fact that my father is not here.
I feel strongly that with Mr. Spencer as Commonwealth victim’s rights will no longer be trampled on.