Defense Calls Three Witnesses In Carroll Pre-Trial Hearing

MAYVILLE – The trial of Davide Coggins is looming.

The Elmira man, accused of leading three men to burglarize a Carroll residence last year and murder the homeowners inside, appeared for his third pre-trial hearing Wednesday at Chautauqua County Court – three weeks before his scheduled trial date of Sept. 16.

Public Defender Nathaniel Barone, representing Coggins, called three witnesses to the stand who were allegedly in contact with Coggins shortly after his arrest in Horseheads.

Barone’s aim, as he described it, was to identify the police officer who spoke with Coggins when the latter finally requested an attorney.

Mark Procopio, supervising investigator with the State Police in Horseheads, was Barone’s first witness and discussed his responsibility of maintaining the barracks’ sign-in sheet.

He revealed that five members of the State Police were involved in the investigation of Coggins. He was unsure, however, if any of them received Coggins’ request.

Joseph Kaine, deputy chief of the Elmira Police Department, was Barone’s second witness and revealed that he received the request.

Sergeant Kristen Thorne, detective sergeant for the Elmira Police Department, and Barone’s final witness, corroborated Kaine’s testimony.

Coggins, 34, was taken into custody on April 17, 2013, the same day he and three other Elmira men – Joshua McCormick, Ricky Knickerbocker and Steven Todd – allegedly invaded the 232 Wheeler Hill Road residence of Gordon and Joyce Skinner, stabbed them multiple times and set their home ablaze.

Coggins was apprehended in Horseheads after his vehicle was positively identified by New York State Police.

Kaine and Thorne described how Coggins’ vehicle was registered to Lindsey Brown, an Elmira resident. When they questioned her about the vehicle’s location shortly after the double homicide, she wrongfully said her mother had it.

“She lied to us,” Kaine said.

Brown’s mother corrected police by indicating that her daughter’s boyfriend – Steven Todd – likely had the vehicle.

Todd, along with McCormick and Knickerbocker, were apprehended at 8:41 p.m. the day of the incident. Brown was taken to the Horseheads barracks earlier that day as well.

Barone requested Judge John T. Ward grant him more time to review documents given to him by the New York State Police.

Ward granted him an extension until Friday.