BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- On March 1, motions and jury questionnaires were filed for Megan Boswell’s upcoming trial. In January, Judge Jim Goodwin denied a bond reduction.
Boswell is the Sullivan County mother accused of murdering her daughter, 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell.
An Amber Alert was issued for Evelyn in February 2020. Her body was found on a family member’s property two years ago this month.
District Attorney General Barry Staubus filed one motion while Boswell’s court-appointed attorney, Brad Sproles, filed five ahead of this deadline.
“We filed a Motion in Limine for the judge to determine which photographs may or may not come into trial… which is a standard motion in a case like this,” said Staubus. The judge will determine prior to trial in order to save time, what photographs would be admissible before a jury and which ones would not be.”
The motion reads:
“The photographs the State seeks to introduce, to be filed separately and which have been provided to the defense, are relevant to the elements of deliberation and premeditation, and their probative value outweighs the inflammatory nature of the photographs. The photographs are clear and accurate, and testimony alone would be inadequate to relate to the jury the facts illustrated by the photographs.”
“It’s the nature of the photographs — you have a child and because of the circumstances in which the child was discovered,” explained Staubus. “The practice is with photographs like that, to put them before the court to determine which ones would be appropriate and relevant under the facts of the case.”
In response, Sproles filed a motion to preserve the defendant’s objections to the state’s evidence.
“The images of where the child’s body was recovered and the images of the child’s autopsy are heartbreaking,” Sproles said. “Our position is that any person who sees those images is going to have an emotional response and we don’t want that emotional response to influence their judgment and their logical thinking about the evidence presented in the case.”
Along with thousands of images, the massive amount of discovery includes videos, audio files, text messages, and social media.
“There are thousands of images here involving this case some of which are very graphic, very disturbing and my thinking is the state will want to present as much of those as they can and we want to limit the amount of those images the state can show to the jury,” Sproles said.
Sproles also filed a motion requesting written notice of the state’s intention to use evidence at trial.
“We typically before trial will release to the defense the defendant and defense counsel the exhibits we intend to introduce ahead of time. “That expedites and makes the trial more efficient,” said Staubus in response.
Some of the evidence is still outstanding so Sproles asked for the trial date to be reset.
“They’ve given us the vast majority of the discovery and we’ve had that for a little over a year, however, there are still things that are coming in and they are potentially very important,” Sproles said. “Out of fairness, we need to have all the evidence and have it for a certain period of time.”
Although the state is still waiting on lab reports, Staubus says it’s too early to look at pushing the trial back.
“We’ve not even really begun the motion process,” Staubus said in response. “I think it’s premature for the judge at this time to make the decision but there will be a time the judge will have to make that decision.”
A motion to allow supplemental ex parte motions for services was also filed.
“I asked for the judge to allow me to request funds for certain expert witnesses after our motion deadline,” Sproles said. “Because I don’t have everything, I don’t know exactly what experts I may need.”
Sproles was appointed as opposed to being hired to represent Boswell.
“If there are expert witnesses that we need, we have to apply to the state for funds to hire those witnesses and that comes from the administrative office of the courts in Nashville,” he explained.
The jury questionnaire from both Sproles and Staubus was also due on March 1.
“It’s not unusual in a more serious crime in a case to have jury questionnaires and both sides have submitted questionnaires that go into areas of knowledge of the case and media and publicity and also the background of the jurors,” said Staubus.
Sproles is also asking to submit supplements to move the trial out of Sullivan County.
“As time has progressed, more and more coverage has been afforded to this case so we’re just asking the court to allow us to submit supplements after the motion deadline for March 1st,” he said.
He also hopes the case’s popularity on social media will be considered along with media coverage.
“It’s not (specified) under the rules that social media can be a basis for [the change of venue motion] but we are certainly supplying that information,” said Sproles. “We have given the judge a very thorough questionnaire where issues in regards to social media will be known to us if people answer that completely and are honest on their answers.”
Boswell is due in court again on April 7 where the change of venue and severance motions are set to be taken up.
That severance motion was filed back in September to separate Boswell’s indictments for a possibility of two trials.
Her trial is set to begin on Sept. 26.
For complete coverage, visit News Channel 11’s Justice for Evelyn tab on WJHL.com.