ELKINS – Two individuals with ties to Upshur County who were recently indicted in Randolph County were arraigned in Randolph County Circuit Court Monday.
Vanessa Fay Logan, 32, of Buckhannon, was arraigned before Twentieth Judicial Circuit Judge David H. Wilmoth.
Logan, who is currently an inmate at Lakin Correctional Center, was indicted on one count of murder, a felony, connected to the November 2018 fatal shooting of Spencer Zoller in Crystal Springs. She appeared with her attorney Harry A. Smith III, who requested Logan be moved closer to Elkins so he can work with her to prepare her defense.
Wilmoth said he would enter a not-guilty plea on the murder charge and as he was setting Logan’s jury selection date, Smith requested a trial date not be set because of the great distance Logan is from Elkins.
“Miss Logan is currently housed in the Lakin Correctional Facility, which is at least four hours away,” Smith said. “At this point, we would ask the court to move her closer to Elkins.”
Logan was sworn in and agreed to wave her right to a speedy trial. Wilmoth set her pretrial conference for August 29 at 1:30 p.m.
“Your trial could go anywhere between the end of October and the end of February,” Wilmoth said.
Smith asked again that the court try to get Logan to a facility “closer to home.” He said he would like to have her transferred closer – somewhere like Tygart Valley Regional Jail. Wilmoth said he would contact Upshur County and the Department of Corrections to see what arrangements could be made.
The U. S. Marshals Service arrested Logan in late November after she was suspected of fatally shooting Zoller, 49, in Randolph County earlier in the month. She was apprehended at a trailer park about 15 miles from Morgantown.
According to Randolph County Sheriff Mark Brady, Zoller was found dead from a gunshot wound at a residence on Gum Road in Elkins Nov. 18. Logan allegedly fled the scene prior to the arrival of law enforcement; however, Brady had said there were several other individuals at the residence who spoke with law enforcement.
A previous My Buckhannon story said the sheriff’s department believed the shooting was drug-related. In December, Randolph County Magistrate Robert Elbon set bond at $150,000 cash-only for Logan, who was then being held without bond at the North Central Regional Jail.
Christopher Warren Koch, 32, was also indicted by the Randolph County June 2019 Grand Jury on one count of accessory after the fact to murder, a felony, appeared in Randolph County Circuit Court Monday with his attorney Gregory Tingler.
Koch, Tingler and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Richard W. Shryock Jr. were called to the front for a sidebar conference with Wilmoth. Following the conversation, Koch left the courtroom and did not return. Following the hearings, Shryock said that Wilmoth recused himself from the hearing, but did not give a reason for the recusal. No future date for Koch’s hearing was given at this time.
Koch, from Elkins, who was previously employed in Upshur County, allegedly aided Logan as she evaded law enforcement.
The November 2018 press release from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office stated, “Koch was arrested on a felony charge of accessory after the fact relating to the homicide investigation of Spencer Zoller” and noted during the investigation it was determined that Christopher Koch was “instrumental in assisting the murder suspect, Vanessa Logan, in evading law enforcement.”
In a previous My Buckhannon story, it was reported that the release said Koch allegedly “provided transportation” to Logan and “assisted her in locating a place to stay to avoid arrest.” In addition, the release said (Koch) helped her secure items to change her personal appearance “in an effort to further avoid detection” and said he also was trying to provide financial support to Vanessa Logan while she was a fugitive.