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Teen charged in quadruple murder case to be tried as an adult; more details released

Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 2:12 PM EST
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UPDATE 3/9/22 @ 4:20 p.m.

ELKVIEW, W.Va. (WSAZ) - More details have been released about why a juvenile facing murder charges in connection with the shooting deaths of four family members will be tried as an adult.

Gavin Smith was 16 at the time his mother, stepfather and two siblings were murdered, investigators say.

In December 2020, four members of the same family were found dead by another relative at a home in the 1300 block of Cemetery Hill Drive in Elkview.

The victims were later identified as Daniel Dale Long, 37, Risa Mae Saunders, 39, Gage Ripley, 12, and Jameson Long, 3.

According to a Kanawha County Circuit Court order, after the murders Smith was found hiding behind a dresser in a third-floor room of a home along River Haven Road in Clendenin. The order states that several articles of clothing were found on or near the suspect. Some tested positive for the presence of blood, and the blood matched the two juvenile victims.

Furthermore, according to the order, Facebook records between Smith and Rebecca Lynn Walker, 17, indicate the suspect was traveling from his home in Elkview to River Haven Road in Clendenin, and Smith admits to shooting one juvenile victim.

Walker, 17, took a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to four counts of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. Investigators say Walker and Smith were in a relationship when the murders happened in 2020.

According to the order, there was probable cause and sufficient evidence to transfer Smith’s case to adult status.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 3/8/22

ELKVIEW, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A teenager facing murder charges in connection with the shooting deaths of four family members will be tried as an adult, according to Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Ballard’s office.

The move was made during a hearing Tuesday and opens the possibility for Gavin Smith to face a longer or more serious sentence.

In December of 2020, four members of the same family were found dead by another relative at a home in the 1300 block of Cemetery Hill Drive in Elkview.

The victims were later identified as Daniel Dale Long, 37, Risa Mae Saunders, 39, Gage Ripley, 12, and Jameson Long, 3.

Gavin Smith was 16 at the time of the murders.

Smith is facing four counts of first-degree murder.

Investigators say each victim was shot with a firearm.

In September of 2021, another teen accused in the case was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Rebecca Lynn Walker, 17, took a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to four counts of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

Investigators say Walker and Smith were in a relationship when the murders happened in 2020.

For previous coverage, click below:

Prison time handed down for teen involved in quadruple murder case

Girl, 17, arrested in quadruple Kanawha County murder, second juvenile charged

UPDATE | Juvenile charged after four found dead in Kanawha County

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

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