By: Beth Sergentbsergent@heartlandpublications.com
September 21, 2012
POINT PLEASANT —The trial of one of three men accused in the murder of René Gonzalez of Gallipolis Ferry has been moved to December.
The trial of Chad W. McCallister, 30, Apple Grove, was set to begin next week on Sept. 25. However, McCallister and counsel appeared in Mason County Circuit Court on Friday, asking for a motion to continue the trial. Judge David Nibert granted the motion, continuing the trial to Dec. 11. There were around 40 subpoenas issued for the trial which was to begin next week. McCallister is currently housed in the Western Regional Jail.
The two other men accused in the Gonzalez murder, Matthew C. Woods, 25, Gallipolis Ferry and Steven L. Adkins, Jr., 26, Apple Grove, have also appeared before Nibert in the past month.
Adkins appeared via teleconference from the Western Regional Jail and requested the removal of his court appointed attorneys, Rebecca Johnson and Pancho Morris. A decision on this matter has been continued to October 1. No trial date has been set for Adkins.
As previously reported, Woods appeared in front of Nibert this month, as well, for what initially appeared to be the acceptance of a plea agreement. However, during the hearing, Woods’ attorney explained his client was not prepared to enter into a plea “as of yet.”
Attorney K. Hughart went on to explain he and Woods were still in negotiations with the Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office concerning a possible plea. Hughart also said he was having difficulties reviewing discovery items with Woods who is also housed at the Western Regional Jail.
At that time, Hughart said most of this evidence is on electronic devices which are not permitted in the jail when the administrator is not on duty and that is only from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Nibert said the court would take action to allow Hughart access to his client.
As of Friday, no plea agreement had been reached in the Woods case and his trial was still set for Oct. 9.
Investigators say the three men entered into a conspiracy to rob Gonzalez who was ultimately shot twice, allegedly by Adkins. Investigators allege Woods drove Adkins to Gonzalez’s Gallipolis Ferry residence and later fled with Adkins. Investigators have alleged McCallister had a personal animosity towards Gonzalez and that McCallister, Woods and Adkins allegedly discussed, planned and entered into the conspiracy to rob Gonzalez while at McCallister’s Apple Grove residence.
All three men have pleaded not guilty to the Gonzalez murder.