ELKVIEW, WV (WOWK) – A teenager charged with the quadruple murder of his mother, his stepfather, and his two brothers in Elkview will be charged as an adult.
According to the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the first-degree murder charges against Gavin Smith, 17, are being transferred to adult status due to the findings in the case. Because the incident happened while Smith was 16, his identity was not previously disclosed.
Smith continues to be held in detention without bond pending further court proceedings, according to court documents.
The bodies of four people, two adults, and two children were found inside a home on Cemetery Hill Drive in Elkview on Dec. 13, 2020. According to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, autopsies revealed that the family had been shot with a firearm.
Deputies later identified the victims as Daniel Dale Long, 37, Risa Mae Saunders, 39, Gage Ripley, 12, and Jameson Long, 3, all of Elkview.
Shortly after Smith’s arrest, the KSCO announced a second teenager had been arrested. Last year, Rebecca Walker, who was 17 at the time of the murders, pleaded guilty as an adult to four counts of “accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.” She was sentenced to 10 years in prison in September.
According to an Order of the Court provided by the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, Smith was found behind a dresser in a third-floor room of a home in Clendenin. Authorities said they found articles of clothing “on or near” Smith that tested positive for blood, and that further testing matched the blood on the clothing to Gage and Jameson.
Court records also stated that Facebook messages between Smith and Walker said he was traveling to the home in Clendenin where he was found. Authorities said those messages also indicated that “a person who identifies as ‘Gavin,'” allegedly admitted to shooting Jameson.
Based on findings in the case, a Kanawha County judge granted the petition to transfer the case be transferred to the criminal jurisdiction of the Court.