Fatal shooting trial rescheduled

WOODSTOCK – The trial of Shawn Jason Nicely on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in a fatal shooting case was postponed Wednesday until mid-February.

The case was originally scheduled for trial this week, but Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp agreed to wait until February after hearing attorneys for the prosecution and defense explain their plans to call long lists of witnesses.

Nicely, 38, of 1523 Fravel Road, Woodstock, appeared in court with his attorney Robert L. Vaughn Jr., of Reston.

Nicely is accused of firing rounds from a 30.06 rifle into a residence at 259 Charlotte Lane on Nov. 21. One of the rounds hit and killed Gina Shoemaker, 46, of Edinburg, authorities say.

Nicely told law enforcement officials he fired the shots while target practicing with his daughter on a neighboring property, court documents say. The documents also contain a statement Nicely made to a sheriff’s deputy claiming that the defendant set up the target in the belief that it “was free of anything in the background.”

Hupp rescheduled the trial for three and possibly four days beginning Feb. 16 after Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda McDonald Wiseley and Vaughan sparred over how to apply the state’s speedy trial law to the case. The law requires that a defendant be placed on trial, with certain exemptions, within 90 days of being charged with an offense. Nicely’s 90-day countdown began after a grand jury indicted him in mid-April.

Vaughn agreed to the mid-February trial date, although it exceeds the 90-day limit and he did not seek a waiver from it.

“I just want to make it clear on the record that I’m not waiving a claim to a speedy trial,” Vaughn told Hupp.

Wiseley said she may call up to 30 witnesses, and Vaughn said he had as many as 10 who could be summoned.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com