CADIZ – Attorney Aaron Miller, representing Matthew Dowdel for his upcoming murder trial, won a motion to have handcuffs removed from his client during the trial. Some concessions were made regarding his leg irons, though.
Both the prosecution and defense tables will be skirted as not to see anything below the waist. Also, there will be a concerted effort so that the jury will not see Dowdel in leg irons as he’s transported to and from the courtroom.
Miller noted to Harrison County Common Pleas Court Judge, T. Shawn Hervey that his client was innocent until proven guilty and attempted to keep all prejudices away from the jury. Harrison County prosecutor, Owen Beetham noted Dowdel’s propensity to flee citing his capture in Florida as one example.
Dowdel is facing nine felony counts, including two murder charges and is facing a possible 32 years to life in prison if convicted on all charges. Beetham stated that the offer made to Dowdel by his predecessor, Michael Washington of 15-to-life, was on the table but Miller once again stated that they were ready for trial.
Jury selection for Dowdel’s trial begins Tuesday, March 10 at 9 a.m.