POINT PLEASANT — One of the men charged in the 2011 murder of René Gonzalez of Gallipolis Ferry is set to go to trial next week.
The trial of Chad W. McCallister, 31, Apple Grove is still on the court docket for 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 11 in Mason County Circuit Court with Judge David Nibert presiding. McCallister’s trial is not to be confused with the trial of Steven L. Adkins, Jr., 26, Apple Grove, who is also charged in the Gonzalez murder. As reported earlier this week, Adkins’ trial was delayed and pushed to March 19, 2013.
According to circuit court documents, 31 witnesses have been subpoenaed for the McCallister trial with those witnesses scheduled to testify on Dec. 11, 13 and 14.
McCallister has proclaimed his innocence in regards to the charges and the role law enforcement claims he played in the death of Gonzalez.
Matthew C. Woods, 25, Gallipolis Ferry, was also charged in the Gonzalez murder and pleaded guilty to second degree murder as part of a plea agreement he entered in to earlier this year. Woods is to be sentenced on Monday, Dec. 10, a day before McCallister goes to trial. During his plea hearing, Woods agreed to cooperate with the prosecution by providing “truthful testimony” in relation to McCallister and Adkins.
During Woods’ plea hearing, Woods was questioned by Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Damon Morgan. During this questioning, Woods spoke about McCallister, saying McCallister had called Woods to ask that he give a “buddy” a ride. The “buddy” was later identified by Woods as Adkins. Woods said he went to McCallister’s home on Millstone Road where the three men entered into a plan to “rob and maybe assault” Gonzalez. Morgan then asked if all three men knew of the possibilities of robbing or causing harm to Gonzalez which Woods confirmed.
Woods did say he didn’t know Gonzalez but knew of him when he drove Adkins to Gonzalez’s home. He said Adkins was out of his sight when he heard two gunshots. Woods then said Adkins came back to the car and indicated he had killed Gonzalez. Woods and Adkins then went back to McCallister’s residence, telling McCallister what had happened.
Of course, Woods’ previous testimony is obviously one man’s word against another and McCallister’s trial will include cross examination of Woods or any witnesses brought forth by the state.