GALLIPOLIS — Four individuals are in custody and murder charges have been filed following an investigation into the death of a Gallia County man — a death that has now been deemed a homicide.
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning reported on Wednesday that Lacey S. Redmond, 26, Portsmouth Road, Gallipolis; Steven L. Williams, 31, 381 Buck Ridge Road, Bidwell; Eugene O. Wasonga, 24, Sunset Lane, Point Pleasant, W.Va.; and James C. Garrett, 21, Annista Drive, Point Pleasant, W.Va., are being charged in connection with the death of Zane T. Taylor, 33.
At approximately 2:05 p.m. on Monday, June 11, deputies responded to Taylor’s home at 1841 Ohio 218, in a rural area of Clay Township, Gallia County, after he had been found deceased in his home.
Upon investigating the scene and speaking with persons who had been with Taylor prior to his death, deputies and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) agents were able to interview and take the four suspects into custody in connection with the homicide.
According to Browning, deputies and BCI agents uncovered information that lead them to believe that Taylor’s death was the result of a robbery involving the obtainment of money for illegal drugs.
During initial appearances on Wednesday afternoon before Judge Margaret Evans of the Gallipolis Municipal Court, bonds were set, counsel appointed and preliminary hearings were scheduled in the cases against the four individuals charged in this case.
All four suspects are being charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and aggravated robbery following the incident — both first degree felonies.
Redmond, Williams and Wasonga have been charged with complicity to commit murder, a first degree felony, while Garrett has been charged with murder, a special category felony.
Redmond, William and Wasonga are being held under $1 million, 10 percent bonds; while Garrett’s bond has been set at $1.5 million, 10 percent.
During the hearings, Evans explained the respective charges filed against each of the suspects, discussed the court proceedings and read the formal complaints filed with the municipal court.
The factual statements within each complaint, as read by Evans on Wednesday, explain the alleged events leading up to the incident on June 11 as discovered by investigators.
“The victim was found deceased on June 11, 2012, at his residence. Upon investigating the death, investigators interviewed co-defendants Redmond, Williams, and Wasonga who each admitted to forming a plan, along with co-defendant Garrett to go to the victim’s house and rob him of cash, drugs and property,” Evans read from one of the statements. “The three co-defendants who gave statements stated that, during the robbery, the defendant Garrett held the victim down and placed him in a choke hold which ultimately led to his death. Co-defendant then left the scene together and disposed of the stolen property.”
During their respective hearings, Garrett was appointed defense attorney Richard Hedges; Redmond was appointed counsel Barbara Wallen; Wasonga will be represented by defense attorney Bill Connolly and Williams retained his current court-appointed attorney Charles Knight.
A preliminary hearing will be held in the case against Garrett at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19 at the municipal court. Redmond is scheduled to appear for an preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20 in the municipal court. Wasonga is scheduled to appear at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 21 and Williams at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20 for their respective hearings in the municipal court.