BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — After reviewing evidence for over a year, investigators gave the greenlight for Megan Boswell’s trial date at a court hearing on Thursday morning.
Boswell, the mother of deceased 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell, is scheduled for her first trial date on Sept. 26, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. She will face 19 charges — two of which include felony murder of her daughter — at the trial.
Brad Sproles, Boswell’s attorney, also announced that he filed two motions on Sept. 29 — one requesting to reduce her bond, which is set at $1 million, and the other asking for the judge to separate her indictments for a possibility of two trials.
“She’s been in jail for over a year and a half continuously on the same bond that was originally set, so we are going to ask the court to address her bond issue,” Sproles said. “It’s supposed to be set at the lowest dollar amount that’s reasonably calculated to assure her continued appearance in court.”
He added that he hopes to split the case into separate trials.
“We are asking to sever some of the counts in the indictment from the other counts and provide her with two separate trials,” Sproles said. “There is a specific rule in the Tennessee rules of criminal procedure about severing offenses, and we believe that this case fits that.”
Boswell’s lawyer continued with comments regarding Boswell’s status.
“I’ve said all along that she’s a bright young lady,” Sproles said. “She is able to converse very intelligently with me about the case and evaluate the issues. I’m surprised at how well she has held up. I probably would not have been in as good of shape as she is.”
One concern among prosecutors and officials included finding an impartial jury to serve throughout Boswell’s trial, as the case has gained attention worldwide.
Court officials also made note that the races in Bristol during that time of year could impact the acquisition of a jury.
“If we have to go someplace to get a jury, then the race won’t be a factor anymore,” Judge Jim Goodwin said. “Now, we can work backwards.”
While District Attorney General Barry Staubus said officials are hoping for a local jury, the court needs to strategize how that jury is selected to avoid bias.
“We’re going to have to have various motions and various expert witnesses, and I think we’re also going to have to have a jury questionnaire and determine whether or not the case would be tried here or we’re going to have to go and get a jury somewhere and come back,” Staubus said. “Our goal is to select a jury here in Sullivan County, and I think that there will have to be some groundwork laid to determine whether that can be done beforehand.”
Staubus said that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will have the case’s forensic testing finished by November 2021.
“We’ve provided Mr. Sproles 87,000 images; 57 hours of video footage; 18 hours of audio footage; 28,000 text messages; and more than 24,000 pages of social media,” Staubus said.
Details regarding the forensic evidence, autopsy, cause of death and other factors remain sealed.
Officials set aside other dates in 2022 — a motion day on April 7 at 1:30 p.m. and a pre-trial motion day on July 28. Judge Goodwin also set a motion deadline and jury questionnaire deadline for March 1, 2022.
Goodwin set the deadline for a negotiated settlement on June 1, 2022. This will give Boswell the opportunity to change her plea. She has pled not guilty to all charges.
Boswell is scheduled to appear in court next for a bond motion on Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m.
Viewers can watch the entire Sept. 30 court appearance below: