Judge disappearance of other women admissible in Vail trial - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Judge rules disappearance of other women admissible in Vail murder trial

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Felix Vail. (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Felix Vail. (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

Judge Robert Wyatt ruled on Wednesday that the disappearances of two other women connected to Felix Vail can be brought up during Vail's upcoming second-degree murder trial.

Wyatt also said the women can be presumed dead.

Vail is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the 1962 death of his first wife, Mary Horton Vail.

Vail's ex-girlfriend Sharon Hensley and his second wife Annette Craver Vail went missing years later.

After Wyatt rendered his decision on Wednesday, Ben Cormier, Vail's attorney, turned to his client and said, "You have no chance." Cormier then notified Wyatt that he planned to appeal the decision.

Cormier argued earlier in the day that there is no proof that what happened Hensley and Annette Craver Vail was a crime or if his client was involved.

Prosecutors said Vail was the last person to see them alive and was also involved in their deaths.

Cormier argued that the state should have to prove the women are dead before it could be mentioned during the murder trial. He said doing so is prejudice against his client by presuming guilt.

Prosecutors said Felix was last seen with both women and that neither of them have been seen or heard from since.

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

The coroner in 1962 ruled the death as an accidental drowning. The 51-year-old case was reopened, and the death was ruled a homicide by Calcasieu Coroner Dr. Terry Welke.

A change-of-venue request for Vail's trial was denied in January.

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