Police & Courts

Both sides rest in Gavin retrial

Detective Gabe Vanderbol gives a testimony during the fourth day of testimony in the Steven Gavin Trail at the Adams County Courthouse on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. | H-W Photo/Matt Hopf
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 21, 2020 8:00 pm Updated: Jan. 21, 2020 8:25 pm

QUINCY — The prosecution and the defense both rested their cases Tuesday in the retrial of Steven E. Gavin in the 2015 shooting death of a Quincy man.

Prosecutors rested after questioning Quincy Police Detective Adam Gibson for several minutes. Gibson testified Friday, but court was adjourned before questioning was completed.

Gavin's attorney, Curtis Lovelace, later brought Gibson back on the stand to review interviews conducted in the criminal investigation in the Nov. 23, 2015, shooting death of Carlous Wires at his home at 706 N. Fourth.

Gavin faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery in the case.

Lovelace questioned Gibson on inconsistencies that several witnesses made during previous testimony based on previous recorded interviews.

Gibson said in an interview that witness Michael Gay had said he had prepared "time cards" on what he was doing that night, and he also described searching for the car he had seen parked in front of the Wires home the night of the shooting.

Gay testified last week that he walked by the Wires house the night of the shooting and saw a "black man" walk from the house, and that he also saw Carlous Wires get something out of the passenger side of his car.

Gay also testified that he saw an older-model vehicle parked nearby, which he later identified to police.

Gay was considered a possible suspect in the case, but police later determined that he had no involvement.

Lovelace asked whether Gay referred to seeing a second person walk out of the Wires home. Gibson said he did during a second interview conducted at an Illinois Department of Corrections facility.

Lovelace asked whether David Scott, who testified that he saw Gavin driving a car on Fifth Street shortly after hearing one or two gunshots on the night of the shooting, said in a police interview that he had drunk "six beers and a pitcher."

Gibson agreed that was what Scott said during a December 2015 police interview.

Scott testified last week that he only had two beers the night of the shooting.

Gibson denied Lovelace's assertion that Scott appeared to slur his words during the interview, and though he "looked a little bit wobbly," it was normal for Scott.

Lovelace also focused on why police didn't look into the Wireses' finances, or collect any evidence from upstairs.

Also testifying Tuesday was Altheia Buckner, who was being held in the Adams County Jail with witness Helen Horton.

Horton testified last week that Gavin told her that he killed Wires during a robbery that went bad.

Buckner, who is serving a sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections, said that Horton said Gibson would tell her what to say in murder trials and that she sent a note to Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County state's attorney's office.

During cross-examination, Buckner agreed that she told the state's attorney's office that Gibson sold drugs with Horton and that the two were in a relationship.

She also admitted that after reporting those items she asked, "Now, what do I get. I want to get out of jail."

Gavin's mother, Annette Gavin, also testified that when she went to bed on Nov. 23 her car was outside her home, and the keys were in her purse in her bedroom.

However, during cross-examination, she said it would be possible for someone to enter her bedroom without her noticing.

Annette Gavin also testified that phones removed from her home were phones that she received through a government assistance program -- commonly referred to as "Obama phones" -- while living in Chicago and she had never disposed of them. Police collected the phones from the room Steven Gavin was staying in at his mother's home.

The defense also played the 911 call made by Carlous Wires' wife Vivian Wires.

In it, a distraught Vivian Wires tells the dispatcher that her husband shot himself in the head and mentions that she had been drinking.

The dispatcher attempted to calm her down before the line went dead.

Closing arguments are set to start Wednesday morning with the jury likely starting deliberations right before lunch.

Gavin continues to be held in the Adams County Jail on $5 million bond, as well as on $500,000 bond in two unrelated cases.

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