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Trial To Begin

The trial of a former jail guard accused of helping a murder suspect escape will begin soon. Anita Vestal faces multiple charges in connection with Jeffery Miles' escape from the Swain County Jail in March 2009.

The pair drove to California, but were captured a month later.

Miles later plead guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murders of Scott Wiggins and Michael Compton.

Meanwhile, Vestal has remained free on bond.

Tuesday, her attorney, Chris Siewers asked for a change of venue, claiming she could not get a fair trial based on pretrial publicity and statements Sheriff Curtis Cochran made at the time of the escape, warning the public of the danger they may face by the fugitives.

But as family members of Scott Wiggins watched, the judge denied that request.

"I would like for her to spend some time in jail just like everybody else has," said Wiggins sister, Christies Jones. "I think what she done is wrong and she deserves jail time."

In addition to Miles, four others involved with the murders are serving prison time.  A sixth, took her own life in jail.

Vestals family declined comment Tuesday.

Jury selection begins Wednesday morning. The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

By Rex Hodge

Follow Rex on Twitter @RexHodgeWLOS



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