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Anonymous Donor Pays Expert Witness Bill in Dreyfuse Murder Appeal

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Hamlin, WV – Edward Jesse Dreyfuse has been serving a life prison sentence without mercy for a decade.  He was convicted in Cabell County Circuit Court for the alleged 2013 murder of 66-year-old Otis Clay, Jr.  During the trial, Dreyfuse was dubbed the “ball bat killer” by the local media.  

Dreyfuse, mostly working as his own counsel, succeded on appeal in getting his case sent back to Cabell County where he is attempting to get the verdict overturned or given a new trial.  His argument is that key testimony provided in the original trial was inaccurate, specifically to the injuries suffered by the victim.  Dreyfuse maintains that Clay was not killed by a beating and in-fact never suffered those injuries, but instead died as a result of cardiac complications brought on in the hospital.

The case is being heard in Lincoln County by Judge Jay Hoke.  The Cabell County Prosecutors and Judges recused themselves.  Recently the Lincoln County prosecutor in the case changed as former prosecutor Jackie Stevens was replaced by newly appointed Lincoln County prosecutor Jeffrey Bowen.  

Dreyfuse is represented by Kanawha County attorney Mark Plants who was appointed to assist Dreyfuse during the appeal.  Dreyfuse and Plants maintain the state’s autopsy found no evidence of Clay being beaten to death by Dreyfuse or anyone else as the prosecution alleged at trial.

Plants secured the services of renowned medical expert Dr. Thomas Berger of Miami.  Berger issued a report which the defense claims indicated the victim was not beaten but rather died to issues related to his heart pacemaker being turned off in a Huntington hospital.

The prosecution has requested to depose Berger.  Judge Hoke granted that request.

The video deposition is scheduled for August 11th.  Questions arose after the service fees were not paid by the court or the prosecutor for this deposition.  Berger set a deadline for fees to be paid by July 29th.  It appeared the depositions were not going to occur as scheduled, but that is no longer the case.

Throughout Dreyfuse’s push for an appeal he has received support from a social media site called National Public Awareness.  This group’s members have been closely following the case and have advocated for Dreyfuse to be freed.  The work of this group and their attention to the expert witness fees issue resulted in an anonymous donor making a more than $17,000 payment to secure the expert testimony.

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“Once that deposition is done, Jesse will be a free main,” one supporter said.  Supporters of Dreyfuse are praising the donor who insisted on remaining anonymous.  In addition, supporters are asking for public assistance contacting court officials at the Lincoln County Courthouse to insure no further delays in the preceedings.  

Dreyfuse’s support organization can be contacted by emailing debbiecurnutte5@gmail.com.

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  • Ron Gregory

    From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia – Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state.

From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia - Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state.

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