MASON COUNTY — One of the two men awaiting trial in the 2011-murder of Rene Gonzalez has asked for a continuation of that trial.
Elizabeth T. Sunyog, counsel for Steven L. Adkins, Jr., 26, Apple Grove, has filed a motion in the office of Mason County Circuit Clerk Bill Withers to delay his trial which is currently set for 9 a.m., Dec. 10 at the Mason County Courthouse.
The motion cites several reasons for the continuation of the trial which is being presided over by Judge David Nibert.
Sunyog states the State of West Virginia recently faxed over an additional witness list which added Matthew C. Woods, 25, Gallipolis Ferry, as a witness for the state. The motion states: “Defendant’s counsel needs more time to prepare for this witness, who played an intricate role in the alleged conspiracy scheme. Furthermore counsel needs to review voluminous jail phone calls of Matthew C. Woods to ensure counsel is prepared with an effective cross-examination at trial.”
Earlier this year, Woods accepted a plea agreement and during his plea hearing, said he’d driven Adkins to Gonzalez’s Gallipolis Ferry home. Woods said Adkins exited the car and was out of sight when Woods heard two shots. Woods said Adkins then returned to the car and indicated he’d shot the victim.
The state is asking for a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for Woods. He is to be sentenced at 1 p.m., Dec. 10 in Mason County Circuit Court for his plea to second degree murder.
The motion also asks Nibert to consider the continuation based upon counsel being appointed on Sept. 26 - Nibert had previously granted Adkins’ request for new representation on that date.
Sunyog also cites that the case involves a “complex indictment” involving conspiracy and first degree murder charges. Also, the motion states counsel for the defendant has been working “continuously” on the case but has further investigation that needs to be conducted in order to “zealously” represent Adkins.
Sunyog’s motion also says the police report in the state’s discovery packet details 21 CD/DVD electronic media but when Adkins’ file was transferred from previous counsel, only six of these CD/DVD electronic media were included. Contained on this media are statements, photographs and other “critical” evidence.
Chad W. McCallister, 31, Apple Grove, is also scheduled to go to trial for the Gonzalez murder in December.