By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Depraved heart murder defendant Thomas J. Ward is set to go on trial Aug. 29 in the circuit court of Lee County.
Judge James L. Roberts Jr. will preside.
Ward, 24, was indicted Oct. 5, 2010, in the shooting death of Anna Catherine McCoy at Ward’s home in Saltillo.
He maintains he is innocent.
On Aug. 4, Roberts will hear a defense motion to move the trial out of Lee County.
Ward’s attorney, Victor Fleitas, contends that pretrial publicity was so extensive that his client cannot receive a fair trial here.
Ward and his father, Thomas W. Ward, also face separate civil lawsuits seeking damages as a result of McCoy’s April 15, 2010, death.
That legal action was filed by McCoy’s relatives Alison McCoy, Jimmy McCoy, Carolyn Walters and Jimmy McCoy Jr.
His father is accused of not taking precautions with his son’s access to weapons at their home.
A few days ago, Thomas J. Ward asked the court to stay the lawsuit against him, pending his criminal proceedings.
Both he and his father deny the allegations.
His father recently asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit against him, citing Mississippi’s Wrongful Death Statute, which he says limits to one the number of wrongful death lawsuits that can be filed related to the same death.