Complications with scheduling experts forces Wiley first-degree murder trial to be moved to November

Wiley 04242023-6

Travis Wiley walks out of an Adams County courtroom on April 28, 2023. | File Pool Photo/David Adam, MRN

QUINCY — A trial for a Quincy man, charged nearly five years ago with first-degree murder in the death of an infant, must wait six more months.

Travis Wiley, 35, appeared with public defenders Todd Nelson and Shelby Hoiness for a pre-trial hearing before Judge Michael Atterberry Friday afternoon in Adams County Circuit Court.  

Wiley faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery in the Jan. 22, 2018, death of an infant girl. He is accused of shaking the infant on Jan. 20, 2018, and she died two days later at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. Wiley was arrested June 20, 2018. 

Wiley’s trial was scheduled to begin May 15, but Atterberry ruled Friday to continue the trial until Nov. 13.

Both attorneys said April 28 during a pre-trial hearing they believed they would be ready for trial in May. However, Nelson also told Atterberry he had just received electronic documents on a USB drive. Special Prosecutor Jon Barnard explained the drive contained copies of opinions given by Dr. Jane Turner, a forensic pathologist from St. Louis, in another case.

During Friday’s status hearing, Nelson revealed he had more than 1,300 pages of discovery to review on that USB drive. 

“I produced a lot of information, and (the defense is) entitled to review it,” Barnard said after the hearing. “But one thing that should be clear, and the judge made it clear today — I didn’t need to turn that over to them. It wasn’t a question of being dilatory in providing information in discovery. It was just something that I felt, in the spirit of full disclosure, they should have. I could have held on to it and not shared it, but that’s not my style.”

Barnard said he took “three or four days” to go through the same information himself. He thought Nelson likely would have been ready had Atterberry pushed the trial date back for two weeks.

However, five experts expected to testify in the trial also needed to be available for a new trial date.

“What caused (the trial date) to get strung out (until November) was the need to make sure that all three prosecution experts and two defense experts would be available for a trial during a given week,” Barnard said. “We went through literally five months’ worth of conflicts. When one (witness) would be available, three would be unavailable to work. The next week, three would be available, and two others would not, and blah, blah, blah.

“The earliest we could get, when we could document that all five experts would be available, was for a week in November. That was the real complicating factor.”

Wiley continues to be held in the Adams County Jail on $5 million bond.

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