HUNTINGTON — A trial has been set for a man charged with shooting another man to death along Charleston Avenue in Huntington in 2017.
Charles Wade Gardner, 27, is charged in the March 25, 2017, shooting death of James Patton, aka Charles Gandy and Kevin Appling, along a sidewalk in the 1600 block of Charleston Avenue.
Assistant prosecutor Lauren Plymale and defense attorney Courtenay Craig said they are working toward reaching a plea deal in the case, but the negotiations were muddied due to a second indictment returned against him in June. The details of the plea deal were not made public Friday.
Cabell Circuit Judge Christopher D. Chiles set his trial for Nov. 5, but the sides could return before that if a deal is reached or they need to make arguments in the case.
During a preliminary hearing last year, Huntington Police Detective Stephen Fitz said police arrived to the scene at about 12:20 p.m. to find Patton face down and dead. Several people witnessed the shooting, but some ran away, he said. Fitz said 13 rounds in all were fired, with at least five entry wounds found in Patton's back. Several other entry or exit wounds were found on his body as well.
Gardner allegedly fled the state and was arrested in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where authorities found pants matching the description of the shooter's clothing with a blood stain on the knee.
Reports indicate police initially theorized the shooting was a result of a combination of drug-related violence and a crime of passion.
Craig has since argued that at least two witnesses have recanted statements made placing Gardner at the scene.
Gardner was also indicted in June on a charge alleging malicious assault on a governmental representative. Craig said he believes the correctional officer in that case does not want to move forward with the case.
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