Ruling in DNA Motion in Roush Murder Case, Trial set for September

Editor’s Note: All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. An indictment or charge is not a conviction, it is one part of the legal process as a case moves forward.

POMEROY, Ohio – An entry has been filed in the ongoing homicide case of Kane Roush concerning the defendant, Jaquan Hall.

Hall was indicted on charges on June 17, 2021 for Aggravated Murder, an unclassified felony, Murder, an unclassified felony, Complicity, an unclassified murder, and Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Murder, a felony of the first degree all related to the death of Kane Roush early in the morning of April 4, 2021 in Pomeroy, Ohio.

On May 17, Judge Linda Warner issued a written entry concerning recent motions involved in the case. On May 14, 2022 Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney James Stanley, Hall along with his attorney, George Cosenza appeared before Judge Warner in the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas to argue motions involving DNA evidence.

The issue was that of additional DNA evidence results that had become available on May 13. The prosecuting attorney recieved the results and then immediately forwarded the findings to the defendant’s counsel. The item in question allegedly has other DNA on it in addition to Hall’s. That person had also just been charged in association with the homicide of Roush. The court documents do not name the individual in question. However, Keontae K. Nelson, 20, of Charleston, West Virginia was arrested by agents of the Major Crimes Task Force, the Ohio Burear of Criminal Investigation and detectives with the Charleston Police Department on May 13.

Nelson was being questioned concerning the death of Roush and expected to be extradited to Ohio, but as of the court hearing was still in West Virginia. As of the publication of this article on May 18, 2022 Nelson was still listed as being at the West Virginia Regional Jail. Nelson has not been indicted either as of this publication. Nelson has only been charged.

“The Court considered the arguments presented and specifically found that in furtherance of justice to both sides the DNA results and invormation regarding the other person charged concerning the murder of Kane Roush must be fully disclosed to Defense Counsel and that the information would be material and should be permitted into the record at trial,” ruled Judge Warner in the written entry.

The court date for the trial to begin was moved from beginning on May 16 to September 19, 2022. Hall waived his right to a speedy trial in the case. The case is expected to a two week trial. The date was set in part with allowing the defense time to review this new information as well as the scheduling availability for Cosenza with other trials. The prosecuting attorney was prepared to move forward with the previous May 16 date or it was even suggested there be a week allowance for the defense to prepare. Ultimately, the trial date was changed to September.

“The Court finds that it was Defendant who indicated that he needed more than one week continuance to fully prepare for a trial now that a second person has been arrested regarding the murder of Kane Roush and the DNA results may be presented. As such, the request for the continuance was granted and speedy trial rights waived until the September 19, 2022 trial date,” ruled Judge Warner, adding, “Speedy trial time is tolled as Defendant requested that the trial be continued, based upon the Court’s ruling regarding newly discovered DNA evidence and the arrest of another person in conjunction with the murder of Kane Roush.”

The other previously filed motions from the defense and prosecution are now considered moot. Judge Warner ordered that the parties were to “re-file the Motions in Limine without attachments and responses thereto as the originals were ordered sealed due to confidential information being attached as exhibits to the Motions in Limine.”

Several motions had been filed leading up to the now voided May 16 trial date. One of the motions filed by the defense had information in it that was not supposed to be made public. The defense motion due to the information that should not have been included in it was sealed by the court and is not information available for the public. Judge Warner ordered that the defense and prosecution refile said motions without that information included.

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