Trial Date Set For Suspect In Carroll Homicides

MAYVILLE – A March 11 trial date has been scheduled in Chautauqua County Court for one of the suspects charged in the April deaths of a town of Carroll couple.

A pre-trial conference was held Monday in the chambers of Judge John T. Ward. Davide Coggins, 34, is facing two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Gordon and Joyce Skinner. Their bodies were discovered by first responders on April 17 in their Wheeler Hill Road home.

Firefighters were summoned to the residence after investigators say a fire had been intentionally set.

Also charged with two counts of first-degree murder was Joshua McCormick, 21; Ricky Knickerbocker and Steven Todd, both 18, are facing two counts of second-degree murder.

All four suspects, from the Elmira area, also are facing felony murder, burglary and arson charges.

A Chautauqua County grand jury indicted the men in April.

Public Defender Ned Barone, who is representing Coggins, said he recently received a large amount of evidence from the District Attorney’s Office. The evidence includes photographs, documents and statements, he said.

“Part of the reason for a March trial is the voluminous evidence in the case,” Barone said Tuesday.

The public defender also is working on two murder cases in the county, including the shooting death of the Clymer Schools superintendent and a September 2012 murder in Fredonia.

Multiple hearings are expected prior to the March trial of Coggins.

“I anticipate there could be several issues, as with any criminal proceeding of this nature,” Barone said.