Attorneys debate late documents, use of infant photos; first-degree murder trial of Quincy man set to begin May 15

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Chief Public Defender Todd Nelson shows a USB drive to Judge Michael Atterberry during a pre-trial hearing Friday afternoon in Adams County Circuit Court. At left is Special Prosecutor Jon Barnard. At right is Travis Wiley. Public Defender Shelby Hoiness is in the foreground. | Pool photo by David Adam, Muddy River News

QUINCY — A trial for a Quincy man charged nearly five years ago with first-degree murder in the death of an infant is on track to begin May 15.

Only one more hurdle must be cleared.

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. 

Atterberry asked Special Prosecutor Jon Barnard where he stood as he prepares for the beginning of the trial. 

“Judge, I believe we are on track,” Barnard said. “I see no reasons why I would not be ready.”

Nelson also said he was ready for trial. However, he also told Atterberry he had just received additional discovery — electronic documents on a USB drive. Barnard later explained the USB drive contained copies of opinions given by Dr. Jane Turner, a forensic pathologist from St. Louis, in another case. He said he didn’t believe they would come up except through cross-examination by Nelson.

“I don’t know the number of pages of documents that we’re talking about,” Nelson said. “I will need to review that. I will state that we are ready for trial, but I would suggest that we set this case for a status date prior to the beginning of the trial.”

Atterberry set a status hearing on Nelson’s review of those documents for May 5.

Atterberry also asked about photographs that Barnard might use during the trial. Barnard said he is meeting with an expert about the photographs on May 8.

“I would expect the result of that meeting is that I will be able to pull down photographs, which I will then advise (defense) counsel which photographs intend to use,” he said. 

Barnard said the nature of the photographs he intends to use show portions of the eye, the retina and the interior brain of the infant — “which by their very nature are not going to be gory or anything like that,” he said.

Nelson said he has seen photographs in discovery that he would ask to be excluded.

“If Mr. Barnard is not going to be using those photographs, then we’re not going to have an issue,” he said.

Atterberry directed Barnard to give the photographs he plans to use to Nelson by May 12, allowing Nelson to review them during the weekend before the trial starts. If a hearing is needed to address concerns with the photos, Atterberry said he wants to meet at 8:30 a.m. May 15 before jury selection begins at 9 a.m.

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

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