The trial of a former Elkins Middle School teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student is on track to begin June 21, after a defense request for a continuance was withdrawn Monday in Randolph County Circuit Court.
Autumn Rae Faulkner, 29, of Beverly, is charged with three counts of third-degree sexual assault and three counts of sexual abuse by a custodian or person in a position of trust to a child, all felonies.
Her attorney, Rocco Mazzei, withdrew his motion Monday asking Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong for a continuance. Mazzei made the motion at a hearing May 25, saying an investigator who is working for him on the case has been subpoenaed to testify in a murder trial in Jefferson County beginning today, which is set as the day for jury selection in the Faulkner case.
Mazzei said on May 25 that the Jefferson County trial was expected to run for about seven weeks. On Monday, he told Wilfong that he'd learned that the Jefferson County trial may be over by Friday, which would allow the investigator to help him during the Faulkner trial.
On Monday, Mazzei made a motion asking Wilfong to dismiss the two counts in the indictment relating to the third and final "episode" allegedly involving Faulkner and the student, due to what he termed "confusion" over the dates and times involved.
Special Prosecutor Steve Jory acknowledged that a CD containing an audiotaped interview with the alleged victim included "a lot of confusion about the dates." However, Jory noted that he had personally interviewed the student "at length" and had determined what he believed to be the correct dates and times.
Wilfong denied Mazzei's motion to dismiss the two counts, saying, 'The indictment stands as is." She then granted Mazzei's motion to obtain the grand jury transcripts, over Jory's objection.
At one point in the hearing, Jory referred to the investigating officer in the case, Cpl. Andrew Loudin of the West Virginia State Police.
Loudin was shot May 3 by William David Dumire, 55, along Kennedy Drive near Elkins High School. Dumire was found dead in a drainage culvert four hours later, following an armed carjacking and a shootout with police officers on Kelly Mountain, officials said.
Loudin is reported to be recovering from his injuries.
On Monday, Jory said of Loudin, "I really don't know if he will be here (for the trial), and I don't know if I'll put him on the witness stand if he is here."
Count one of the indictment, sexual assault in the third degree, alleges that Faulkner engaged in sexual intercourse and sexual intrusion with a minor who was at least four years younger on Dec. 21, 2008. Count two, sexual abuse by a custodian or a person in a position of trust to a child, alleges that Faulkner engaged in the sexual intercourse with a child who was under her care.
Counts three and four allege that Faulkner again engaged in sexual intercourse with the same minor on Feb. 1, 2009. Counts five and six allege Faulkner again engaged in sexual intercourse with the minor in the first half of February 2009.