GALLIPOLIS — Plea agreements have been entered in cases against three of the suspects charged in connection with the June death of a Gallipolis man, while the fourth suspect is set to appear before a jury later this month.
Lacey Redmond, 26, Gallipolis, and Steven L. Williams, 31, Bidwell, both pleaded guilty in their respective cases last week in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County, while Eugene O. Wasonga, 25, Point Pleasant, entered a guilty plea in December after negotiating a plea agreement.
In conjunction with their plea agreements, Redmond, Williams and Wasonga have all agreed to testify against any or all of their co-defendants at trial.
In this case, James C. Garrett, 21, Point Pleasant, remains as the only suspect not to enter a guilty plea in this case. The defendant is slated to appear for trial on February 27 and is being represented by retained counsel, Todd A. Long and James D. Owen of Columbus. He is being held in the Gallia County Jail under a $1 million, 10 percent bond.
Garrett, along with Redmond, Williams and Wasonga were arrested and charged following the murder of Zane Taylor, 33, on the afternoon of June 11, 2012, at his home on Ohio 218 near Gallipolis.
The suspects allegedly entered Taylor’s residence in an attempt to rob him — an incident that reportedly later led to his death.
Redmond, Williams and Wasonga were later charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, aggravated robbery and complicity to commit murder following the incident, while Garrett, who is also facing similar robbery charges, is the only suspect facing a charge of murder.
During a hearing on February 5, Redmond pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and complicity to involuntary manslaughter, both first degree felonies.
Pursuant to her plea agreement and her cooperation in testifying against her co-defendant, it is expected that Redmond will be sentenced to five years of imprisonment for aggravated robbery and 10 years for complicity to involuntary manslaughter.
Redmond is scheduled to appear on March 12 for sentencing. She is being held under a $1 million, 10 percent bond.
Williams, who had his original case dismissed in the common pleas court in lieu of new charges, pleaded guilty on February 6 to a bill of information outlining a charge of robbery and tampering with evidence.
According to the plea agreement in this case, the state will recommend that court sentence Williams to 30 months of incarceration for the charge of robbery and a total of 12 months for tampering with evidence for a total of 42 months, pending his cooperation in testifying at trial.
Williams, who is being held in the Gallia County Jail under a $1 million, 10 percent bond, and is also facing charges of drug trafficking and drug possession in two separate common pleas cases, will appear for sentencing on March 6.
Wasonga was the first co-defendant in this case to enter a plea, pleading guilty to one count of robbery and one count of tampering with evidence during a hearing on December 11, and, as a condition of his plea, Wasonga also agreed to testify against his co-defendants at trial.
The plea agreement filed in Wasonga’s case stipulates that the state, pending Wasonga’s cooperation through his testimony against his co-defendant, will recommend he receive a total of 30 months of incarceration for the charge of robbery and 12 months of incarceration for tampering with evidence.
Wasonga was later released on a $30,000, own recognizance bond and is also scheduled to appear on March 6 for a sentencing hearing.