POINT PLEASANT — The trial of the three men accused in the 2011 murder of Rene Gonzalez has been rescheduled for July 10 — the original trial was set to begin next week, on April 10.
Chad McCallister, Matthew C. Woods and Steven L. Adkins, Jr., along with their respective legal counsel, appeared in Mason County Circuit Court this week for the continuation of a pretrial hearing which began last month.
Though no official orders explaining the decision to move the trial date have been filed yet, the new trial date has been noted in Mason County Circuit Court.
Also newly scheduled are pretrial hearings for Adkins on July 5 and for McCallister and Woods, respectively, on June 29. Again, all three men, at least at this point, are set to go to trial on July 10.
As reported last month, at various points in the legal proceedings of this case, attorneys for the three men have all individually expressed a desire for their clients to be tried separately. Also, McCallister’s attorney requested a change of venue, claiming the pretrial publicity has been “extensive, biased and prejudicial.” In addition, counsel for Woods filed a motion to suppress statements made by Woods on the grounds that these statements were obtained and/or otherwise taken in violation of Woods’ Constitutional rights. Counsel for Woods has also filed a motion to exclude “gruesome photographs,” including autopsy and body photos of Gonzalez, stating these could arouse “anger” or “passion” and as such are “highly prejudicial” to Woods. Council for Adkins has filed a similar motion in regards to these types of photographs.
Subpoenaed witnesses in the case are still to report to Mason County Circuit Court on April 10 to receive further instructions.
As reported last year, according to the criminal complaint, McCallister, Woods and Adkins were together at McCallister’s Apple Grove residence on or around July 11, 2011, where they allegedly discussed, planned and entered into a conspiracy to rob Gonzalez at his residence.
Woods allegedly drove Adkins from McCallister’s home to Gonzalez’s residence with the intent to carry out the planned robbery. Upon arrival, Adkins is said to have shot Gonzalez twice. Following this, both Adkins and Woods fled the scene and returned to McCallister’s home. Investigators allege McCallister had a personal beef with Gonzalez.
Adkins, McCallister and Woods have all pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and conspiracy regarding Gonzalez’s murder in July 2011.
The Honorable David Nibert, circuit court judge, is presiding over the case.