SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- During an arraignment for Megan Boswell on Friday, her attorney filed two motions, one of those asking the court for a change in venue.
Boswell appeared in court via video conference so that she could be arraigned on the 19 charges she now faces related to the death of her 15-month-old daughter, Evelyn Boswell.
Boswell pleaded not guilty to the 19 charges she was indicted on, including two counts of felony murder.
Motion for a change of venue
Boswell’s attorney, Brad Sproles, explained to News Channel 11’s Kaylyn Kluck after Friday’s court hearing that he filed a change of venue motion with the court due to media coverage of his client’s case.
“A motion for a change of venue under our rules here in Tennessee has to be based on the amount of media coverage that a case has received, and I think that’s clear that is the case in this matter,” Sproles said.
We also asked Sproles if he had any idea where court proceedings would continue if the court did grant a change of venue.
“The rule provides a procedure and what I’ve seen in the past is you look at surrounding counties first and if the same press coverage has been in those counties you start looking further out, so I expect we’ll have to go further out,” Sproles said.
Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus said a change of venue might also mean a jury could be selected out of another county.
“There’s a number of things that could happen, you could try the case in another county, or you could bring the jury back up,” said Staubus.
Gene Scott, an attorney based in Jonesborough, says change of venue requests aren’t often granted.
“It is very rare. It’s only used if you can’t get a fair jury in the county where the case happened,” Scott said.
But in the case of Megan Boswell – Scott thinks it could happen.
“I think there’s a strong chance it will be granted in this case based on the amount of publicity I’ve seen in the case. So I think it could be very likely that it could be granted,” he said.
Motion for a bill of particulars
Sproles said his second motion for a bill of particulars asks the district attorney for clarification on some of the charges.
“The state has charged her with the crimes of aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect, both of those based on what they refer to as serious bodily injury, but that is all we know. So we’ve asked the state to clarify those statements as to what bodily injury they are referring to in both of those counts,” Sproles said.
Megan Boswell is due back in court on December 3 at 1:30 p.m.
Look for continuing coverage today on WJHL.com and on News Channel 11 starting at noon.
You can watch a stream of the entire arraignment on our WJHL Facebook page below.