Motions to allow jailhouse informants to testify withdrawn in Wiley first-degree murder case

Wiley 04282023-05

Special Prosecutor Jon Barnard makes a point during a recent hearing in Adams County Circuit Court. | MRN File Photo by David Adam

QUINCY — Motions to allow testimony from jailhouse informants in the Travis Wiley first-degree murder case were withdrawn on Thursday.

Wiley, 35, was scheduled to appear with Public Defender Todd Nelson for a status hearing Friday morning before Judge Michael Atterberry in Adams County Circuit Court. Atterberry had ruled Oct. 11 that the testimony of an inmate in the Adams County Jail with the initials of MM would not be allowed during Wiley’s trial

He was expected to rule Friday if a reliability hearing was necessary after Special Prosecutor Jon Barnard had filed a second motion earlier this month about another inmate in the Adams County Jail with the initials JM who had information pertaining to Wiley’s case. However, Barnard withdrew both motions in an order filed in the Adams County Courthouse on Thursday.

“It’s just a matter of trial tactics,” Barnard said Friday afternoon. “(The information) fell out of the sky, and I have an obligation to disclose it, which I did, and get all of that on the record. So I made the decision (not to use the witnesses).”

Nelson had filed motions for leave to withdraw as counsel in response to both of Barnard’s motions. He previously had been the attorney for one of the jailhouse informants in another case. Even though Nelson has reassigned that person’s case to another attorney in the public defender’s office, he didn’t believe that resolved the conflict.

If Nelson had to be replaced, Atterberry had said new counsel would have been appointed to represent Wiley, resulting in another year delay in a case that is nearly six years old.

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. He since has been in the Adams County Jail. He is held on a $1 million bond.

A pretrial hearing is set for Friday. The trial is set to begin Nov. 13.

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