La. appeal court to hear whether evidence about 2 missing women can be used against Felix Vail


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LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana — A Louisiana appeal court has halted proceedings against a 74-year-old man accused of killing his first wife in Louisiana while it considers whether to allow evidence about two other women — the Mississippi native's missing common-law wife and second wife.

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles has scheduled a hearing Sept. 24 in the case against Felix Vail, who grew up in Montpelier, Mississippi.

Prosecutor Hugo Holland says the order last week has canceled a hearing that had been scheduled June 16 before state District Judge Robert Wyatt.

Vail is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Mary Horton Vail, whose body was pulled from the Calcasieu River in 1962.

He's also believed to be the last person to have seen his common-law wife, Sharon Hensley, missing since 1973, and Annette Craver Vail, missing since 1984.

Wyatt ruled in May that he presumes that both died under questionable circumstances, so Holland may bring in testimony about them.

"Obviously, we're thrilled," defense attorney Ben Cormier told the American Press (http://bit.ly/1q4tACV).

"We're fighting for the presumption of innocence," he said.

Vail has said that Hensley sailed away from Florida with others and that Annette Vail took a bus to Mexico.


Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

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