HUNTINGTON — A murder trial in the 2016 Guyandotte shooting death of a man is expected to begin later this month in Cabell County Circuit Court.
Joshua Dwayne Plante, 29, of Huntington, was previously indicted on one count of murder in the June 20, 2016, Guyandotte shooting death of Morrell Deshawn Paschell, 21, of Huntington, and one count of possession of a controlled substance after he was found to be in possession of drugs during his arrest.
Huntington police officer Dakota Dishman said the defendant and victim allegedly had past arguments over a woman both had dated briefly. Dishman said a unique pair of shoes, video surveillance from two residences and recovered guns would affirm statements from a woman who identified Plante and his vehicle in the video taken from the homicide scene.
Because one of Plante’s family members was also named in that indictment for the drug charge, the two counts were separated into separate trials because of fear the murder charge could affect the jury’s perception of Plante’s co-defendant, who was not involved in the shooting.
In a trial last year for the drug charge, Plante was found guilty and sentenced to serve a one- to 15-year prison sentence after a jury found he was in possession of 3 grams of heroin when he was arrested outside his Olive Street home the day Paschell was found dead. Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell also handed down a life sentence, of which Plante will have to serve at least 15 years, after he agreed Plante’s repeat drug and firearm offenses made him a substantial risk for the public.
Plante is expected to go to trial for the remaining murder charge Dec. 16 in Farrell’s courtroom. Both defense attorney Glen Conway and assistant prosecutor Joe Fincham believe the trial will happen.
Conway said he still wants to discuss some small evidentiary matters with the court, and Fincham said he is waiting on a finalized forensic report from the Huntington Police Department. The medical examiner on the case is set to testify in a different trial in Kanawha County the same week as this trial, but Fincham said it should not interfere with Plante’s case.
Plante is currently housed at Mount Olive Correctional Center. His next parole hearing is set for 2031.