Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect information from Boswell’s appearance in court on April 21.
BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Megan Boswell, the Sullivan County mother charged with murdering her toddler daughter, appeared in court Friday morning at 9 a.m.
On Friday, Judge James Goodwin listed the following reasons to deny the previous request by Boswell’s legal team for her to wear civilian clothes.
- “The state points out correctly that no jury has been selected to hear this case at this time and any prejudice that might arise can be fleshed out during voir dire.”
- “This Court does not find that this defendant [Boswell] should be treated any differently than any other inmate in the Sullivan County Jail.”
- “The defense has not provided any case or statute that specifically requires the relief [request] sought.”
“I don’t agree with that decision,” said Boswell’s recently appointed attorney, Gene Scott. “There’s no other case that I can remember in Sullivan County that’s had this kind of media attention. And we’ll explore our options for whether or not we can appeal that order. If you look at the Facebook comments that will be on this article when we read it, there’s going to be a hundred people that rush to judgment about her guilt, and they should instead of rushing to judgment about guilt, wait to see what the evidence actually shows and then make a decision.”
Boswell faces more than a dozen charges, including two counts of felony murder, in connection to the death of her daughter, Evelyn Boswell, who was reportedly last seen alive by family members in late 2019.
Evelyn was the subject of a weeks-long AMBER alert with searches that spanned several states in 2020. Her body was found on a family member’s property on March 6 of that year.
In a September 2022 hearing, Goodwin denied Boswell’s request for a new attorney citing a “difference of opinions” with her court-appointed attorney, Brad Sproles. In that same appearance, a pathologist testified that Evelyn died of asphyxiation.
The following month, Sproles withdrew from the case and Scott was appointed all in the same hearing.
“There’s just so much to do and go through that I couldn’t tell you at this point if we’re going to seek to overturn any of [the rulings during her previous counsel],” Scott said. “In this day and age, there is so much with cell phone downloads and social media that you have to go through. 20 years ago, if you tried a murder case, you might have some autopsy photos and a few witness statements and that was it; and now you just have hundreds and hundreds of pages of cell phone downloads, social media information and that’s just a lot for you to go through.”
We asked Scott about how Boswell was handling her case.
“Obviously she’s in jail,” he responded. “I don’t think anyone would like being in jail but she’s doing the best she can.”
The change of counsel caused a delay in the trial, moving it to February 2025.
“We provided discovery materials to the defense counsel and they announced they’re still reviewing it and it is voluminous,” said District Attorney General Barry Staubus. “Basically what we did was set another status hearing to keep the case on track. So in the event that when they’re completed or they get to a point they want to file motions or there’s something that needs to be taken up, it stays on track.”
Staubus agreed with Goodwin’s ruling on Boswell’s clothing.
“We had opposed that motion and of course, the court approved… agreed with our position that for pre-trial motions, the defendant will be dressed out in her normal correctional clothing,” Staubus said. “We also anticipate the judge is going to make a ruling on the earlier motion to sever the other charges from the murder charges and the child abuse cases. The judge said he’s going to rule on that shortly so we expect that he will release a ruling probably in the next week or two.”
Boswell will appear in court again on August 4 at 9 a.m.
Visit the Justice for Evelyn tab on WJHL.com for previous coverage of the case.