WEST CHESTER — A trial involving a man accused of a nearly 5½-year-old double murder case in Chester County has again been postponed, this time because of coronavirus complications, court officials confirmed last week.
Alan Carter, the Modena man accused of the drive-by slaying, was set to have gone to trial on Friday of last week, starting with jury selection before judge Jeffrey Sommer.
But Sommer was forced to call off the trial and continue it to later this year after learning that Carter’s attorney, Stuart Crichton of West Chester, had come in contact with a person who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Because of his contact, Crichton would not have been permitted to enter the county Justice Center under COVID protocols. He thus would not have been able to participate in the trial.
The next possible date for Sommer to convene the homicide trial, because of the limitations put on jury trials during the pandemic, is September.
Carter, 27, has been held without bail in Chester County Prison since he was arrested in march 2018 and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and related counts for the 2015 deaths of victims Clayton Woodward and Terrance Craig-White in what authorities said at the time was a drug-related shooting.
His arrest came after an exhaustive investigation that was led by Chester County Detective Kristin Lund, and involved both forensic and eyewitness evidence, as well as testimony before a county grand jury.
The Valley double-homicide took place on Oct. 17, 2015. Woodward and Craig-White were allegedly shot by Carter in revenge for an earlier drug-related robbery allegedly carried out by Woodward in which Carter’s mother, his child, and his child’s mother, were victims.
According to reports at the time of Carter’;s arrest, he believed that Woodward had broken into the residence while armed, tied up and threatened defendant’s family, then stole the defendant’s drugs and money.The two men were shot point-blank while they were sitting in a minivan outside of Woodward’s home after he had come home from a trip to a Caln liquor store.
On the same day of the theft of the drugs and money, Carter waited until Woodward, Craig-White, and a witness, Danielle Taltoan, were parked in Woodward’s minivan in front of a home on Nichols Avenue. He drove up in a 2010 Nissan Rogue SUV and opened fire with a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun.
Woodward and Craig-White were both hit multiple times and were declared dead at the scene. Danielle Taltoan, located in the back seat, survived unscathed.
Detectives systematically put the case against the defendant together with township police over the last three years. The Nissan SUV was located, abandoned in Southwest Philadelphia. The SUV was positively linked to Carter after his photo identification card was found inside. Gunshot residue was recovered from the vehicle.
Witnesses who saw the SUV driving away from the crime scene were located and interviewed. Investigators also located and interviewed multiple witnesses to whom the defendant had either bragged or admitted to committing the shooting, according to authorities.
To contact staff writer Michael P. Rellahan call 610-696-1544.
To contact Staff Writer Michael P. Rellahan call 610-696-1544.