SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The legal team of a woman accused of killing her young daughter requested that she be allowed to wear civilian clothing at all future court proceedings.
Documents penned by Megan Boswell’s counsel, defense attorney Gene G. Scott, Jr., cited several cases to support the motion, including Estelle v. Williams and State v. Doreen Jones, which stated in an appeal that “trial courts should take every precaution to avoid the display of the accused, who stands presumptively innocent, in prison garb or any type of restraint which reflects their custodial status.”
“The Defendant acknowledges that the above-referenced case law generally refers to defendants wearing civilian clothes during a jury trial and the risk of jurors making negative inferences from a defendant’s custodial status,” the motion reads. “However, the Defendant urges this Court to grant her request to wear civilian clothes at all future court proceedings because of the extraordinary publicity and media attention her case is receiving.
“There are television cameras at every one of the Defendant’s court appearances and her court appearances are live-streamed on the internet. If she is not allowed to wear civilian clothes, thousands of people — some of whom may be potential jurors — will continue to see her dressed in her jail jumpsuit and the danger of unfair negative inferences being made will be ever-present.”
Boswell faces a slew of charges in connection to 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell’s death. TBI agents described finding Evelyn’s body “in [a] playhouse in the trashcan” on a family member’s property in March 2020 — months after family members reported last seeing her.
A forensic pathologist testified that Evelyn died of asphyxiation in four different places. She was found with a “mechanical obstruction” in her airway in the form of foil, and a blanket had been tightly wrapped around her head, according to Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan.
Mileusnic-Polchan said that she believed Evelyn’s death to have been a homicide.
This motion marks the first since Boswell was appointed new legal counsel in October 2022. Her previous public-appointed defense attorney filed a motion to withdraw from the case, claiming that the attorney-client relationship had “deteriorated to the point that counsel is unable to effectively and zealously represent the Defendant in this matter,” court records read.
The change in legal counsel will likely stall Boswell’s February 2023 trial as Scott Jr. and his team study the case and its developments over the past two years.