Can a person, who was convicted of murder and is released from jail, legally change his name?

Full Question:

My husband has been released from jail now. He was convicted of murdering his friend by poison. Moving forward we want to live peacefully. Can he change his name so that we can live without the burden of his past?
02/22/2017   |   Category: Name Change   |   State: West Virginia   |   #32651

Answer:

In West Virginia, a person who wants to change his name may apply to the court for a name change. The court may not grant the change of name for persons convicted of first-degree murder for a period of ten years after the person is discharged from imprisonment. It is covered under W. Va. Code § 48-25-103§ 48-25-103 which reads:
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(d) The court may not grant a change of name for persons convicted of first degree murder in violation of section one [§ 61-2-1], article two, chapter sixty-one of this code for a period of ten years after the person is discharged from imprisonment or is discharged from parole, whichever occurs later.
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W. Va. Code § 61-2-1 reads:
“Murder by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, or by any willful, deliberate and premeditated killing, or in the commission of, or attempt to commit, arson, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, breaking and entering, escape from lawful custody, or a felony offense of manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance as defined in article four [§§ 60A-4-401 et seq.], chapter sixty-a of this code, is murder of the first degree. All other murder is murder of the second degree.
In an indictment for murder and manslaughter, it shall not be necessary to set forth the manner in which, or the means by which, the death of the deceased was caused, but it shall be sufficient in every such indictment to charge that the defendant did feloniously, willfully, maliciously, deliberately and unlawfully slay, kill and murder the deceased.”

In the instant case, the court may not grant the name change of your husband, who was convicted of murdering his friend by poison, because he has not completed the period of ten years after his discharge.