Police & Courts

Voice ID testimony allowed in trial for man charged in 2015 shooting death

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 8, 2019 2:15 pm

QUINCY -- A motion that would have prohibited witnesses from testifying about a recorded voice lineup used to identify a Quincy man charged in the 2015 shooting death of another Quincy man was denied Friday in Adams County Circuit Court.

Judge Robert Adrian ruled that he would allow the voice lineup to be used in the trial of Steven E. Gavin in the Nov. 23, 2015, shooting death of Carlous Wires. Jury selection in the trial starts Monday.

One of Gavin's attorneys, Drew Schnack, sought to bar the testimony arguing that he received information on the voice lineup just days before the trial starts.

Gavin, 56, faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery in the death of Wires, which allegedly was over a disagreement about a drug purchase.

Schnack said he received information on the voice lineup on Tuesday, which was after the discovery deadline, and that the voice line up could have been set up earlier.

"Up until Tuesday, they had no way to identify this person as Steve," Schnack said. "Now, we are confronted at the last minute. It's all changed within three business days of trial. This should have been done days, months or years ago."

Gavin has been held in the Adams County Jail, where he has been held on $5 million since his May 1, 2017, arrest.

Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County state's attorney's office, said attorneys in both sides of the case have an obligation to continue gathering information in the case up to the trial.

Wires reportedly made a phone call using his daughter Shelby Wires' cellphone the night of his death and asked for "Steve." A return call that Shelby Wires answered reportedly came from "Steve."

Jones said during a recent interview with Shelby Wires, she was asked if she would recognize the voice if she heard it, and she told him that she might. He noted that Shelby Wires has been listed as a potential witness in the case.

A lineup of audio taken from Adams County Jail phone calls was set up, and Shelby Wires listened to the audio at the Quincy Police Department.

Jones said four phone calls were used, with two recordings containing Gavin's voice, and Shelby Wires reportedly identified Gavin's voice in both recordings.

All phone calls made from the jail are monitored and recorded and notice of the recording is given to every inmate before the call begins.

In his ruling, Adrian said he had no reason to believe there was a discovery violation as the phone calls were recorded before the deadline and that would have been included in discovery turned over to the defense.

He did rule that witnesses can't mention that the recordings were taken from the Adams County Jail.

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