Spencer hearing continued to July

WEST UNION – A pretrial hearing in the murder trial of a Doddridge County teen has been continued to July.

Joseph B. Spencer, 17, who was indicted for the Sept. 3 deaths of his parents and younger sister, had been scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Friday but that was moved to a summer date.

According to records in the Doddridge County Clerk’s office, Doddridge County Circuit Court Judge Tim Sweeney signed an order continuing the hearing because the results of an initial forensic examination to determine Spencer’s competency to stand trial have not been delivered.

Records state the examination has been completed.

In the order the new date has been set for 1 p.m. July 9 for a scheduling conference.

Prior to the continuance, the court had set April 9 as the date to select a jury and the trial was to begin that week.

On Sept. 3, 2012, Spencer called Doddridge County 911 saying he shot his parents and younger sister at their home outside of West Union, police said.

According to police reports at the time, the victims were identified as Fred and Dixie Spencer and their daughter Patience “PJ” Spencer. In later 2012, Sweeney granted a motion by the state to try Joseph Spencer as an adult.

Police said Spencer told the officer who responded to the call he used his father’s 9mm handgun in the shootings and then called 911 to report the shootings.