Elder's Defense

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Jeffrey Elder's former girlfriend testified Friday she was at his home the night Elder came in with his alleged sexual assault victim.

The woman, who was 18 at the time, says he had sex with her at his home, after transporting him from a hearing in Pleasants County, but April Marshall says she was there from the time the two arrived, until they left his home.

Did Jeff and the girl leave together?
April Marshall: Yes.
(How did you know?)
Marshall: Because I was right behind them.
(How long were you close together?)
Marshall: I saw her outside smoking a cigarette...probably 15-20 minutes.

And there were other defense attacks on the credibility of elder's accuser. One came from a former client of both elder and defense attorney Bill Kiger, who told of a conversation he had with the woman early this year.

James Dowler: She's like, 'don't be scared; that stuff with Mr. Elder isn't true'. I said, why don't you tell the truth? She was like this about money.

Last-minute witness, attorney Bill Richardson, disputed earlier testimony that it's unusual for a lawyer to transport one of his clients to a hearing, but he added there are times when he might not want to do that.

Bill Richardson: If they're intoxicated, would I bring them to my home, no. I would want to end that problem as quickly as possible. If someone offered (to drive her home), I would probably let them handle it.

In describing evidence taken from the elder home, state police First Sergeant Bill Adkins said, “There was more we could have done, but there was only so much time.”