UPDATE: Convicted murderer denied acquittal judgment in Cabell County

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CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 9/25/18 @ 3:30 p.m.
A man convicted of beating another man to death in Huntington was denied a judgment for acquittal on Tuesday.

Circuit Court Judge Greg Howard denied that motion.

Anthony Adkins was convicted of aggravated murder for the death of Douglas Daniels. Daniels was found dead in May of last year on the bank of the Guyandotte River.

Because of the jury's no mercy decision, Adkins will never be eligible for parole.

Adkins' lawyers believe that testimony from a doctor during the trial was inconsistent with a report used in the trial.



UPDATE 8/7/18 @ 6:15 p.m.
A man convicted of beating another man to death in Huntington will serve life in prison without possibility of parole, a jury decided Tuesday.

Anthony Adkins was convicted of aggravated murder for the death of Douglas Daniels. Daniels was found dead in May of last year on the bank of the Guyandotte River.

Because of the jury's no mercy decision, Adkins will never be eligible for parole.

Police say Adkins admitted to hitting Daniels with his fist and a rock, and prosecutors say a brick was involved in the beating.

Another man, Joey Vernetter, was also involved in the case. Vernetter jumped into the river to avoid police and ended up drowning.



UPDATE 7/27/18
A jury on Friday has found a man guilty of beating another man to death.

Anthony Adkins is charged in the murder of Douglas Daniels. Daniels was found dead in May of last year on the bank of the Guyandotte River.

Police say Adkins admitted to hitting Daniels with his fist and a rock, and prosecutors say a brick was involved in the beating.

Another man, Joey Vernetter, was also involved in the case. Vernetter jumped into the river to avoid police and ended up drowning.

Adkins is set to be sentenced at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The jury will decide then whether Adkins will be granted mercy. He faces up to a life sentence without the possibility of parole.



UPDATE 7/25/18
Testimony got underway Wednesday in the trial of a man who's accused of beating a man to death.

The girlfriend of suspect Anthony Adkins took the stand to testify.

Sara Fitzwater described the moments leading up to her call to 911, after finding out that Douglas Daniels had died.

In this case there was another man who was there. Joey Vernetter jumped in the river to avoid police and ended up drowning.



UPDATE 7/24/18 @ 10:05 p.m.
The trial of a man accused of beating another man to death started Tuesday morning in Cabell County.

Anthony Adkins is charged with aggravated murder, stemming from the May 2017 death of Douglas Daniels in Huntington.

Daniels was found dead in May of last year on the bank of the Guyandotte River.

Police say Anthony Adkins admitted to hitting Daniels with his fist and a rock, and prosecutors say a brick was involved in the beating. Investigators say Adkins was picked up after the attack and was covered in blood.

During a preliminary hearing, Adkins' defense claimed that Joey Vernetter, another man at the scene, used the brick to hit Daniels and that Adkins tried to stop him.

Police say Vernetter jumped into the Guyandotte River when police showed up at the scene of the murder.

His body was found a couple weeks later in the Ohio River.



UPDATE 6/23/17 @ 12 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington Police tell WSAZ the body of a man who jumped into the Guyandotte River when police arrived at the scene of a murder has been identified.

HPD says a body found May 21 in the Ohio River near South Point has been identified as Joey Vernetter.

Officers followed Vernetter to the 3rd Avenue bridge where he jumped off. Police confronted the man and he swam back toward the middle of the river.

Douglas Daniels, 39, was found dead on May 4 on the west bank of the Guyandotte River. He suffered blunt force trauma to the head.

Anthony Adkins has been charged with aggravated murder in the case. It has been sent to a grand jury.



UPDATE 5/17/17 @ 12:30 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The case for a man charged with aggravated murder after another man was found beaten to death along the Guyandotte River will go to a grand jury.

Cabell County Magistrate Judge Mike Woelfel found probable cause in the case against Anthony Adkins.

Police say Douglas Daniels, 39, of Huntington, was found dead May 4 on the west bank of the Guyandotte River.

Daniels suffered blunt force trauma to the head.

When officers arrived on scene, they saw another man leaving the scene heading north.

Officers followed the man to the 3rd Avenue bridge where he jumped off. Police confronted the man and he swam back toward the middle of the river.

The man went under and still has not been found. Family members tell WSAZ Joey Vernetter, 26, is the man who jumped in the river.

In magistrate court Wednesday morning, Huntington Police Detective Chris Sperry said that Adkins admitted to hitting Daniels with his fist during a statement.

Sperry says Adkins told him, "I beat the (expletive deleted) out of a man underneath the bridge, I hit him with a rock and killed him, Joey and I did."

Sperry says Adkins then said "it went too far" and that he "wanted to leave" and wanted "Joey to leave with him."

Prosecutors say a brick was involved in the beating.

The defense claims that Joey Vernetter used the brick to hit Daniels and that Adkins tried to stop him.

"My client said that he hit Mr.Daniels with his fist. Now if any bricks are involved, cinder blocks involved or any hard tangible item of striking Mr. Daniels is involved ... it wasn't done by this guy," defense attorney Kerry Nessel said. "He wasn't involved. He tried to get his brother ... the one who jumped off the bridge which we can all assume, only guilty people jump off bridges and try to swim to Ohio."

Prosecutors say Adkins claimed Vernetter was his half brother but Vernetter's mother told WSAZ the two are not related.

More details emerged about the moments following the beating.

Sperry says Daniels was so badly beaten, he had to be identified by finger prints.

Police say Adkins contacted a woman to pick him up following the attack.

Sperry says two women were in the car with Adkins, who was "covered in blood" and was carrying a duffel bag.

Police say Adkins and one woman went to Cabell Huntington Hospital for an unrelated injury.

Sperry said the woman called 911, but officers did not find Adkins while there because he was in a bathroom changing.

He was later found at a grocery store and arrested. Police say he was still covered in blood when he was arrested. He did not appear to have any physical injuries.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/5/17 @ 10:35 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington Police say one man is dead, another is missing and a third has been charged with aggravated murder after an altercation along the Guyandotte River.

Police say Douglas Daniels, 39, of Huntington, was found dead Thursday night on the west bank of the Guyandotte River. Daniels suffered blunt force trauma to the head.

When officers arrived on scene, they saw another man leaving the scene heading north.

Officers followed the man to the 3rd Avenue bridge where he jumped off. Police confronted the man and he swam back toward the middle of the river.

The man went under and was not seen again. A search for the man's body resumed Friday morning.

Family members tell WSAZ Joey Vernetter, 26, is the man who jumped in the river.

Huntington Police say it is a recovery mission.

Police say later Thursday evening officers found a third man, Anthony Adkins, 31, of Huntington at a store in the 100 block of 7th Avenue.

Adkins were taken to HPD headquarters for questioning and has been charged with aggravated murder.

He was then taken to Western Regional Jail.

Police say the motive for the altercation is unclear, but it does appear alcohol was a factor.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/5/17 @ 6:45 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington Police are briefly suspending the search for a man who allegedly killed another man late Thursday night.

The alleged killer jumped into the Guyandotte River shortly after the incident and police have not been able to locate him after seeing him go under water.

Huntington Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli says they will send a boat onto the water later Friday morning to continue the search.

The names of the alleged killer and the man who was killed are not being released as police work to identify both men.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/4/17 @ 10:50 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More details have been released about a beating that led to a man's death and the suspect missing after he jumped into the Guyandotte River, our crew at the scene reports.

Huntington Police say the beating happened about 8:30 p.m. Thursday on the west bank of the Guyandotte River near the 5th Avenue bridge.

Witnesses tell police the suspect ran along the bank toward the 3rd Avenue bridge where he jumped into the water and hasn't been seen since. The Guyandotte River flows into the Ohio River near that area.

At one point, officers spotted the suspect clinging to an area on the bank. When they approached him, he started swimming from one side of the river to the other and disappeared.

People who were fishing in the area and witnessed what happened were taken to police headquarters to be interviewed.

Police say there were several alcohol containers at the scene of the fight, so alcohol is being investigated as a possible factor.



ORIGINAL STORY 5/4/17 @ 10:01 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A man was killed Thursday night and a suspect jumped off the 3rd Avenue bridge into the Guyandotte River, Huntington Police say.

Officers say the man who jumped was last seen going under the water. He hasn’t been seen since.

Police say there was a fight between the two men before the suspect jumped. The Guyandotte River feeds into the Ohio River in that area.

Officers say they will be working throughout the night looking for the suspect. They have witnesses at the police station.

No names have been released at this time.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.




 
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