Quinn Pleads Not Guilty To Murder
By LAUREN MATTHEWS
Jessica Quinn, 36, of 114 South Third Ave., Paden City, pleaded not guilty Friday, Sept. 11 to her one charge each of murder and wanton endangerment, handed down by the September 2015 Grand Jury.
Despite conducting a mass arraignment for the other defendants indicted by the most recent grand jury, The Honorable Judge Hummel took Quinn’s case separately, as he said the case was “more complex” and the consequences “more dire.”
Judge Hummel told both the prosecution and defense that he did not have issues with counsel meeting deadlines for discovery and response to discovery, because of the nature of Quinn’s case.
“There will be some sort of mental defense, so the state will have to get an expert,” Haught said. “That will probably go beyond the discovery deadline.”
Hummel stated that given the nature of Quinn’s charges, he understood that the case might take longer to develop, what with gathering clinicians, conducting evaluations, gathering witnesses and discovery.
Judge Hummel said he had had only three murders in the court himself.
“I’m aware of issues that can come up,” he said. “As long as council is working diligently, I can modify discovery deadlines as necessary. Both sides will have the opportunity to represent and discover what is necessary to meet the ends of justice.”
Quinn’s attorney, John Treadway, stated that Dr. Robert Miller of Hungtington was requesting documents that are normally sealed. Treadway said he was requesting a separate order to retrieve the documents so he could forward them to Miller.
Treadway further stated that Miller had performed an evaluation on Quinn. “If the court notices, I filed a mental defense. I did not give a specific defense. I only have a draft. He’s requested more documents.”
A request made by Treadway, for bond, was denied by Judge Hummel.
Prosecutor Haught had noted that the state opposed Quinn’s request for bond. “The previous council filed for bond, and the state filed a response. I understand Mr. Treadway is new council, and his arguments for bond may be somewhat different than those raised by prior council. The state is opposed to bond, because this is a capital case where she could be sentenced to life without mercy. Without going too deeply into evidence, basically Ms. Quinn shot an unarmed man in the back.”
“The state’s position is that an individual there was there to deliver a load of wood. Another reason why the state is concerned about bond is this mental defense. The state does not know the extent of what the mental defense is, but if there is an issue with respect to her mental state, presently, then the state has concern for the safety of the public and her children. In fact, if she is released on bond, the state may consider other proceedings based on the evidence that it has. The state is opposing any bond in this particular case based on the nature of the crime.”
Treadway noted that the defense had a different view of the case. He indicated that the defense believes the delivery of firewood was only a cover story.
Although the motion for bond was denied, Treadway said he would be submitting an evaluation conducted on Quinn, which would determine whether she is a risk if released on bond.
Quinn’s charge of murder alleges that on or about June 8 Quinn murdered Kevin Clark Thompson, Jr., in Paden City. Her second charge alleges that she wantonly performed an act with a firearm which created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another, in that she caused risk of harm to Steven W. Quinn, Jessica’s uncle, who was standing near her when the firearm was discharged.
The criminal complaint filed by the Paden City detachment of the West Virginia State Police, Wetzel County’s 911 center received a call reporting a gunshot at Quinn’s residence. When responders arrived, they found Thompson on the ground with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Thompson was transferred to the Wetzel County Hospital, where he died hours later.
Law enforcement on scene secured a silver automatic pistol on scene belonging to Thompson, the criminal complaint states. Steven Quinn, an eye witness to the events, claimed he had stopped by the home after Jessica advised him she was in fear for her safety due to a male physically assaulting her a few days prior.
According to the complaint, Jessica told her uncle she was in possession of the firearm, and he advised her to give it to him for her safety. When she refused, he left the residence but returned later, when he observed a white male with a beard, later identified as Thompson, entering the back porch of the residence.
According to the account, Thompson made no verbal threats to harm anyone at the residence and was not behaving in an aggressive manner prior to the shooting. Following the gunshot, the witness yelled for someone to call 911 and grabbed the firearm out of Jessica’s hand.
Quinn’s two small children were inside the residence when the shooting took place. She was later arrested by state troopers.
Following her arrest, Jessica admitted to shooting Thompson but claimed it was due to her being in fear of her children’s safety. She reportedly admitted, however, he was not attempting to harm her or her uncle and had not made any verbal threats against her or her children.
A man who accompanied Thompson to the residence said the two had traveled to the residence to deliver firewood, according to police. Officers observed Thompson did not have a weapon and found firewood during a search of his vehicle.