WVa Supreme Court rejects convicted mother’s appeal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the murder and abuse convictions of a woman in the death of her 3-year-old daughter.

The court identified the woman only by her initials L.M.C. because of the sensitive matter, but news outlets reported she is Lena Lunsford, who now goes by Lena Marie Conaway.

Conaway asked the appeals court for an acquittal or a new trial. She was found guilty in 2018 and sentenced to life without parole in the death of Aliayah Lunsford.

The child went missing in 2011 and her body was never found. Conaway’s two older daughters testified at trial that their mother hit Aliayah Lunsford in the head, then put her body in a clothes hamper and dumped it in the woods.

The defense argued there was insufficient evidence for a conviction and that the judge should have allowed a change of venue, but the Supreme Court said it found no error.

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