First on 5: Judge denies change of venue request for Lunsford-Conaway trial

LEWIS COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV) -- Lewis County Chief Circuit Judge Jake Reger has denied a motion by Lena Lunsford-Conaway's defense to move the venue of her trial from Lewis County.

Lunsford-Conaway's defense filed the request in November, stating they did not believe she could have a fair trial due to the public's knowledge of the case.

In the hearing today, the defense presented comments from Facebook pages from three media outlets, including WDTV and stated that 98% were very against Lunsford-Conaway.

The prosecution argued that that does not mean Lunsford-Conaway cannot have a fair trial, stating most comments came from out of the state or country.

Judge Reger questioned the defense on how some comments were interpreted as positive or negative. Private investigator Alex Weinstein stated he interpreted the comments based on subjective opinion.

Pretrial proceedings will begin January 31st.

Lunsford-Conaway is accused in the 2011 murder of her then 3-year-old daughter, Aliayah.