Trial Date Set

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 husband and wife.

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 April 17 in their Wheeler Hill Road residence.

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 burglary and arson charges. A Chautauqua County grand jury indicted the men in April.

Court records indicate Gordon, 66, and Joyce, 59, were stabbed and their residence set ablaze. The suspects were named by Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace a day later and were arraigned before Ward shortly thereafter. No motive for the murders has been released.

Public Defender Ned Barone, who is representing Coggins, said he recently received a large amount of evidence in the case from the District Attorney’s Office. Among the evidence is 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 is working on two other high-profile cases in the county. Anthony R. Taglianetti II, of Virginia, is facing a second-degree murder charge in the September death of Clymer Schools Superintendent Keith Reed Jr. Theodore S. Wickham, of Dunkirk, was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the September death of Frank T. Slate Jr.

Taglianetti’s trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 17 in County Court; Wickham’s trial has been pushed back to December.

Meanwhile, multiple pre-trial hearings regarding the evidence and identification 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.