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Trial Date Set for Murder Case

WHEELING — The teen accused of killing 19-year-old Caleb Smail pleaded innocent in Ohio County Circuit Court this week, and his case will proceed to trial in December.

Crandall Lee Senkbeil, 19, remains lodged at the Northern Regional Jail with no bond after the January shooting of Smail at the victim’s house. He faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Senkbeil entered his plea Thursday before Judge David Sims. His pretrial conference is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 5, with a trial date of 9 a.m. Dec. 16. Senkbeil was represented by attorney Shane Mallett at Thursday’s hearing, as his attorney, Robert McCoid, was unavailable that day.

Senkbeil was charged with murder in May after a four-month investigation. Police records indicate that Senkbeil allegedly went to Smail’s house and took a safe containing $10,000 and “accidentally” shot Smail.

That information was provided to police by a friend of Senkbeil’s, who allegedly told his friend of the incident in March.

According to a criminal complaint, Senkbeil’s phone was tracked on a route consistent with someone traveling between his Elm Grove residence and Smail’s residence near Clinton. The two were said to be known friends and associates.

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