The W. Va. girl that has been indicted in the 2012 stabbing death of her onetime best friend, Skylar Neese, has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in Morgantown. The girl, Sheila Eddy, 17, was arraigned Tuesday in Monongalia County Circuit Court.
Eddy is charged along with 16-year-old Rachel Shoaf with luring Neese out of her Star City home last July, driving her into the Pennsylvania woods and killing her at an agreed-upon moment.
Neese’s body was found nearly nine months later under branches in a secluded spot in Wayne Township after Shoaf told investigators the truth – and where to find the body. Shoaf told police the girls killed Skylar because they no longer wanted to be friends with her, but the victim’s parents believe there was more to it.
Shoaf has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is awaiting sentencing. Prosecutors have said they plan to recommend a 20-year prison sentence for her but she could get as many as 40 years under the law.
Eddy’s name became public this month, when prosecutors transferred her case from juvenile to adult court.
The Neese family has said Eddy initially aided them in the search for Skylar and even helped pass out fliers in the neighborhood.
Shelia Eddy offered only brief answers to questions from Monongalia Circuit Judge Russell Clawges, then said “not guilty” to one count each of first-degree murder and kidnapping, and two counts of conspiracy.
Clawges tentatively scheduled her trial for the week of Oct. 22 as friends of 16-year-old victim Skylar Neese wept and Neese’s father, Dave, glared at the girl he used to consider a second daughter.
“I miss Skylar that much more when I see her,” he said of Eddy after the court appearance. “She’s exactly where she belongs, though – if she committed the murder of my daughter, she deserves to be exactly where she is: in jail.”
Petite and pale with flowing, dark blond hair, Eddy entered the Morgantown courtroom in an orange jumpsuit, and wrist and ankle shackles amid tight security. Seven sheriff’s deputies, most wearing body armor, kept close watch.
One woman wore a white T-shirt with the handwritten plea “Justice for Skylar.”