SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The murder trial for the man accused of killing his teenage stepdaughter is a week and a half away.
Wesley Hadsell faces a murder charge for the 2015 death of teenager AJ Hadsell. She went missing while home in Norfolk on spring break from Longwood University. Police found her body a month later behind an abandoned home in Southampton County.
Hadsell spoke to 10 On Your Side from behind bars about the upcoming trial. He says he’s anxious for the trial to start, remaining adamant he is innocent.
“I don’t know why I’m here. Honestly I don’t. I’ve never hurt my daughter,” said Hadsell. “I know that I’m innocent. I have done nothing wrong.”
There is key evidence in the case against Hadsell, such as the GPS tracking device in his work van. The GPS lead investigators to the abandoned home where they found AJ’s body.
Hadsell claimed he had no idea how the device got to the residence.
“I know I’ve never been to that house. I’ve made that very clear,” explained Hadsell. “The GPS they allegedly found is a handheld GPS. It’s not like it’s a GPS attached to a work van or something like that. It was a removable sort of device.”
In the work van, investigators also say they found gloves, duct tape and a dirty shovel, items Hadsell says were used for work, not murder.
“Yes, they did find gloves, they should have found multiple pairs of gloves. They should have found multiple rolls of duct tape,” he said.
During the past year, Hadsell has fought hard for his defense, even trying to get the trial moved out of Hampton Roads. His lawyer argued the media coverage of the case will make finding an unbiased jury difficult.
The judge didn’t grant the motion.
“I mean, anybody with this much publicity would probably worry about jury contamination. I just want what everyone else gets as a fair trial. I want an unbiased jury.”
Hadsell also warned the trial won’t be pretty.
“It’s going to be a very painful trial because things are going to come out, you know, that are going to hurt me because it hurts her. My fear is really my daughter’s memory will be tarnished.”
Hadsell wouldn’t elaborate on what evidence would come out at trial or why it would hurt his daughter’s reputation.
“Honestly, I have no idea of what did or did not happen,” Hadsell said. “I have no facts. I have more questions than I do answers. I honestly don’t know. I’m just tired of being punched on. It’s time for me to fight. This is my fight. It’s my life. And I’m going to take it back. And I look forward to trial because no matter what comes out, the truth will never make me any worse for wear. I mean, I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve got no fears.”
Hadsell says he hasn’t decided yet whether or not he’ll take the stand in his own defense.
10 On Your Side will be in the courtroom to bring you updates.
The trial is set to begin February 24.
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