SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tennessee (WJHL) – Megan Boswell, the Sullivan County woman charged with killing her 15-month-old daughter, Evelyn Boswell, appeared in court for a motions hearing Thursday. the two major points discussed were the questionnaire to be presented to a panel of jurors for the upcoming trial and a motion to split Boswell’s charges into two separate trials.
News Channel 11 had a team in the courtroom for the hearing. You can watch the hearing in its entirety above.
Judge Jim Goodwin first addressed the question of the jury’s questionnaire. District Attorney Barry Staubus told Goodwin that he and Brad Sproles, Boswell’s attorney, agreed on what would be included in that document.
The results of the questionnaire will be considered in the court’s decision on the motion to move the trial out of Sullivan County. Sproles has previously said that due to widespread public opinion of the case in the county, finding an unbiased jury may require a change of venue.
The court then considered the motion for separation of charges in two trials. Sproles said he wanted to separate the first four charges Boswell faces, including the two murder charges, from the others. Sproles told Goodwin he feared a jury would not be able to properly consider and decide on all charges, referring to his 12 counts of false reporting.
“What we’re trying to avoid is a situation where the jury can say, ‘She was convicted of filing false reports, so she must be guilty of murder,'” Sproles told the court.
The state disagreed, saying all of Boswell’s charges together paint a complete picture of what happened to Evelyn.
The District Attorney’s Office has called Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent David Gratz to the stand to testify in the case and provide his opinion on the false reporting charges and the incidents arising from them. Gratz previously provided evidence in the case to the grand jury, which resulted in Boswell’s charges.
You can watch Gratz’s full testimonial below:
Assistant District Attorney William Harper questioned Gratz about several instances during the investigation that led to Boswell being charged with Evelyn’s murder. Gratz recounted instances in which he said Megan claimed Evelyn was with Ethan Perry, the child’s father, before changing his story to say his own mother, Angela Boswell, had Evelyn. At one point, Gratz said Megan Boswell told investigators that an unknown person had custody of Evelyn and “wanted to give her a better life.”
“The defendant said that once again Angela had Evelyn Boswell and gave Evelyn to an unknown or unnamed person and that Evelyn was safe and would have a better life with this unknown person,” Gratz told about an alleged false statement by Boswell on February 2. 23. 2020.
According to Gratz, Boswell later told authorities that Evelyn was dead, but it wasn’t her fault and she didn’t know where her body was.
“She said she knew Evelyn was dead; however, she told the story that she or Hunter Wood rolled over the child while she slept, but she did not know the location of Evelyn’s body,” Gratz said.
When questioned by Harper, Gratz said Evelyn’s body was found on Tommy Boswell’s property on Muddy Creek Road in a playhouse behind a shed. Tommy Boswell, Evelyn’s grandfather, had built the playhouse for Megan Boswell as a child, Gratz said.
In total, Gratz said nearly a terabyte of evidence was acquired as a result of authorities executing search warrants. The evidence included phone records, photos and social media.
Sproles chose not to cross-examine Gratz and had no questions for him.
The prosecution told Goodwin they believed Boswell’s false reports indicated a scheme to ensure no one ever found Evelyn’s body and that attention was diverted from the fact that she was dead.
Goodwin did not decide in court Thursday whether or not to split the charges into separate trials.
The court was originally due to hear both sides in July regarding the use of certain photos from the case as evidence at trial. However, Sproles and Staubus agreed that the hearing could take place sooner. Goodwin has scheduled that hearing for June 24 at 1:30 p.m.
During that hearing, Goodwin said the court would also address the issue of Boswell’s mental health assessment.
Boswell’s full trial is scheduled for starts September 26. The district attorney’s office announced that they are considering seeking a life sentence for Boswell without the possibility of parole.
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