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Wilcox trial pushed to late April

The trial of accused murderer Tom Wilcox has been pushed back to late April to avoid a potential conflict with another death penalty case.

“The two defense attorneys have a capital case in Scioto County and because of the length it is expected to run, attorneys on both sides jointly requested a five-week continuance,” Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper explained. “If that (Scioto County) trial goes into a fourth week it would run into my case so the continuance seemed like a prudent thing to do.”

Wilcox’s attorneys, William Eachus and Charles Knight, also represent Kara Garvin, the Scioto County woman accused of a triple murder in Franklin Furnace.

The two attorneys were appointed to represent both Garvin and Wilcox; death penalty cases require two defense attorneys and both must have special certification.

Jury selection in the Wilcox case will now begin April 29.

Cooper estimated the trial will take 3-4 weeks.

Wilcox, of Ironton, is accused of assaulting and then setting fire to his estranged wife, Amy Wilcox, at her Perry Township residence in late April 2009.

She died two months later at a Cincinnati hospital.

Wilcox is facing seven charges, including three different aggravated murder charges. All three include specifications that state the aggravated murder occurred along with other crimes.

However, each aggravated murder charge is based on different theories.

The first aggravated murder charge alleges the act was premeditated.

The second alleges the murder occurred as a result of the arson; the third alleges the murder as a result of the robbery.

He is also charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated arson, domestic violence and, because his daughter was in the home when he allegedly set the fire, he is also charged with child endangerment

The a jury who hears his case must not only decide his guilt or innocence but if he is found guilty they must decide if he is to be executed.

The last capital case in Lawrence County was that of Roger Marshall, who was convicted in 2006 of setting a fire at the Lyle Motel that killed three people.

Marshall did not receive the death penalty. He was sentenced to a total of two life terms without parole plus 10 years for those crimes.