Vail appears in court, motions for records denied - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Vail appears in court, motions for records denied

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Felix Vail at the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse on Wednesday. Felix Vail at the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse on Wednesday.
Felix Vail (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Felix Vail (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)
A button that friends and family of Mary Horton Vail wore in court on Wednesday. A button that friends and family of Mary Horton Vail wore in court on Wednesday.
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The motions filed by defense attorneys regarding records in the case of Felix Vail, the man accused in the 51-year-old death of his wife, Mary Horton Vail, have been denied in 14th Judicial District Court.

Vail appeared in court Wednesday before Judge Robert Wyatt.

The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office has maintained that Vail's defense attorneys have the records they need to proceed in the case.

A preliminary exam is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 18.

"What we are saying is that he already has all the information that we have that is relevant to this preliminary exam. We have also agreed to furnish him with the old police report done way back when by the Sheriff's department," said Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier.

Mary's nephew, Steve Horton, was in the courtroom Wednesday afternoon and was shocked to see Felix smiling at times.

"That bothered me as to his reaction or his emotions but basing what we now know he did to my aunt I would not be surprised about his expression. I believe he thinks he is going to be exonerated for something that is very obvious he did," said Horton. "Myself or someone in my family will be here for every hearing. We owe it to my aunt. This is not going away - 50 years may have gone by - but her memory is still very much alive."

Also honoring Mary's memory are two of her Chi Omega sorority sisters and her former roommate.

"We have always felt deep in our hearts that this was not right. We knew that Mary was deeply afraid of the water, especially deep water. And there were just many things that didn't add up and we had suspicions," said Judy Turney.

Mary Horton Vail was found dead in October 1962 in the Calcasieu River. Felix Vail claimed that she was the victim of a boating accident.

The coroner in 1962 ruled the death as an accidental drowning. The case was recently reopened and the death was ruled a homicide by Calcasieu Coroner Dr. Terry Welke.

Vail, a Mississippi native, was arrested last month in Canyon Lake, Texas. He is being charged with second-degree murder in Calcasieu.

Vail is a suspect in other deaths as well, including in the deaths of a girlfriend and another wife.

Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier told KPLC last month that he felt like there is "sufficient evidence to demonstrate that this death was, in fact, a homicide."

"I feel like we can prove that in court," DeRosier said.

Welke and a 91-year-old man, who helped recover Mary Horton Vail's body in 1962, will testify in the preliminary hearing on June 18.

Mary Horton Vail, 22, was a Eunice native. She attended McNeese State University, majoring in education. At the time of her death she was a teacher at Moss Bluff Elementary.

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