MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A teenage girl charged with plotting and pulling off the murder of her longtime best friend will be tried as an adult in a West Virginia court, the prosecutor in charge announced late Wednesday.
Shelia Eddy's case was moved from juvenile to adult court in a closed-door hearing in Monongalia County Circuit Court. After months of silence and secrecy, Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown announced in a one-paragraph press release that all further proceedings will be held in open court.
Eddy is charged along with classmate, 16-year-old Rachel Shoaf, with luring Skylar Neese out of her Star City home last summer, driving her into the Pennsylvania woods and stabbing her to death at an agreed-upon moment. The motive has never been revealed.
Shoaf has already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is awaiting sentencing. She told police the girls no longer wanted to be friends with Skylar, but the victim's parents believe there was more to it.
Prosecutors have said they plan to recommend a 20-year prison sentence for Shoaf and will oppose any move to have her sentenced as a juvenile. But she could get as many as 40 years under the law.
Shoaf's family issued a public apology but has made no further statements.
Dave Neese said the public identification of Eddy, whose name has long been known in the community, brings him no relief in his daughter's death. Nor does the prospect of sitting through a trial.
"I don't want to hear the grisly details of how Skylar was murdered," he said. "I don't want to hear how she screamed and cried. But I do want these girls to get what they deserve."
Skylar, a University High School honors student, slipped out the window of her ground-floor bedroom last July 6 and never came home.
Surveillance video showed her getting into a car at the end of her street in a quiet residential neighborhood near West Virginia University. With no sign of fear, no money and no contact lenses, she apparently expected to return.