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Lovelace files new motion in Gavin trial, jury selection pushed to next year

QUINCY (Herald-Whig) — The jury trial of a Quincy man charged in the 2015 shooting death of another Quincy man was continued Tuesday, which was supposed to be the first day of jury selection.

Judge Robert Adrian ruled that the retrial of Steven E. Gavin would be continued to the January jury trial docket following a more than two-hour hearing in a closed courtroom.

Upon opening the courtroom, Adrian said that a motion was filed by Gavin’s attorney, Curtis Lovelace, after Lovelace received information late Friday afternoon.

Adrian said Lovelace filed a motion suggesting a Brady violation. A Brady violation means that evidence that could show the innocence of a defendant was not turned over by the state.

Adrian did not find any Brady violation but granted the continuance to allow the defense to investigate the information.

No details were provided on the new information.

Gavin, 57, faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery in the Nov. 23, 2015, shooting death of Carlous Wires at 706 N. Fourth. Gavin is accused of shooting Wires twice in the head after a disagreement over a drug purchase.

A mistrial was declared in the February 2019 trial after a jury of nine women and three men deliberated for 13 hours and became deadlocked.

After the hearing, Lovelace said the new information needs to be explored.

“We did have some last-minute information that was brought to our attention, which led to the discovery of documents that had not been turned over to us, and some documents that did not exist that we thought should exist,” Lovelace said.

Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County state’s attorney’s office, said though he’s frustrated that the  case did not proceed this week, he understands the reason why the defense requested a delay.

“The court found that there was no evidence withheld by the people,” Jon s said. “However, the defense asked for additional time to conduct an investigation. It is our duty in the state’s attorney’s office to ensure all parties receive a fair trail, including the defendant.”

Adrian previously ruled to close some of the pre-trial evidentiary hearing.

The motions remain under seal and will be released after the trial concludes.

Personnel with the Quincy Police Department, including Detective Adam Gibson, were called to testify during the hearing.

This is the second time the retrial has been continued on the first day of jury selection. Jury selection was set to start April 8 in the retrial, but was continued after Lovelace entered his appearance.

Gavin initially was going to be represented by Drew Schnack, who represented Gavin during the first trial, along with Casey Schnack.

Gavin also faces charges of contraband in a penal institution after he reportedly possessed a knife on April 29 in the Adams County Jail, and one count of intimidation after he reportedly told jail staff on May 6 he would kill whoever was put in a cell with him.

He pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Gavin has been held in the Adams County Jail on $5 million bond in the shooting death since his May 1, 2017, arrest, and $500,000 in the weapons case.

By Matt Hopf

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