Police & Courts

Opening statements expected Tuesday in Gavin case

Steven E. Gavin returns to his seat following the attorneys being called to the judge’s chambers on Feb. 14 during the third day of the Steven Gavin trial at the Adams County Courthouse. Jury selection is set to start Monday for the retrial of Gavin | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 14, 2020 12:01 am Updated: Jan. 15, 2020 12:03 am

QUINCY -- Opening statements are expected to start Tuesday afternoon in the Steven E. Gavin retrial after attorneys interviewed 20 potential jurors Monday.

Five four-person panels were interviewed with three potential jurors being dismissed for cause. At least one panel of four potential jurors will be brought in Tuesday morning for questioning before attorneys meet with Judge Robert Adrian in chambers to determine if a full jury can be seated.

Gavin, 57, faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery in the Nov. 23, 2015, shooting death of Carlous Wires. He is accused of shooting Wires twice in the head after a disagreement over a drug purchase.

A mistrial was declared in February 2019 after a jury of nine women and three men deliberated for 13 hours and became deadlocked.

The majority of those interviewed in court said that they had heard of the Gavin case through local news outlets, but many said they could set aside anything they heard on the case and focus on the evidence presented in court.

Gavin's attorney, Curtis Lovelace, asked several jurors about their social media use in following news.

Lovelace previously sought to move the trial out of Adams County, but that motion was denied during an August hearing.

Adrian also asked if they were reading comments regarding the case from news reports that were posted to social media.

Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County state's attorney's office, asked jurors specifically about whether they understood the concept of circumstantial evidence.

Testimony in the trial is set to start Wednesday, and the trial is expected to last until Jan. 22.

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

He also is being held on $500,000 bond after he was charged with possession of contraband in a penal institution after he reportedly possessed a knife on April 29 in the jail.

He also faces one count of intimidation after he reportedly told jail staff on May 6 that he would kill whoever was put in a cell with him.

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