Mooney trial pushed to summer

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The murder trial of Jason Mooney will be postponed until summer and it will not include testimony from a Huntington, W.Va., psychiatrist.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper Monday granted a continuance until June 9. This continuance was granted at the request of Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., who said a police officer scheduled to testify in the trial must undergo surgery and will be unavailable for approximately a month. The trial was to have begun Monday. Mooney, of Ironton, is accused of stabbing to death his grandmother, Thelma Mooney, in February 2007.

Cooper also excluded the testimony of Dr. Bobby Miller as an expert witness. During a pretrial hearing last week, Miller said he had examined Mooney and believed he suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, and therefore is likely to have given a false confession to his grandmother’s murder.

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Collier had argued during the hearing that there is no credible scientific evidence to support Miller’s contention. Cooper agreed.

“I’m satisfied he made the correct decision,” Collier said. Rick Faulkner, attorney for Mooney, was contacted for his comment but did not return the telephone call.

Mooney remains in the Lawrence County Jail under a $1 million bond.