MASON COUNTY — One of the three men charged in the 2011 murder of René Gonzalez has been sentenced.
Matthew C. Woods, 26, Gallipolis Ferry, was sentenced to a definite term of 10 years with the department of corrections by Judge David Nibert last week. Back in October, Woods pleaded guilty to second degree murder and during a plea agreement hearing, the state had asked the court to consider a minimum sentence of 10 years.
Woods, along with Chad W. McCallister, 30, Apple Grove, and Steven L. Adkins, Jr., 26, Apple Grove, were charged in the Gonzalez murder. A grand jury indicted the men in January on first degree murder charges. Woods pleaded to the lesser charge of second degree murder which basically removes the deliberate element of first degree murder. Last week, McCallister also accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, again, this charge removes the malicious or deliberate element in the first degree murder charge. McCallister’s plea includes a mandatory jail sentence of 10 years though he has not been sentenced yet. Nibert will review the plea agreement before sentencing at 10 a.m., Jan. 18 in Mason County Circuit Court.
Woods, will receive credit for 502 days already served in jail and he will not be housed in the same correctional institution as either McCallister or Adkins. All three men were previously housed at the Western Regional Jail until Woods accepted a plea agreement and was moved to the Central Regional Jail. Nibert previously granted Woods’ request to be immediately transferred from the Western Regional Jail to the Central Regional Jail upon entering into the plea agreement. At the plea hearing in October, Kevin Huhgart, counsel for Woods, told Nibert his client had already been assaulted once at the Western Regional Jail and when he’d agreed to testify in the cases against McCallister and Adkins, he was concerned about his safety.
Woods had been accused of being a part of planning a conspiracy, along with Adkins and McCallister, to rob Gonzalez. Woods was also accused of driving Adkins to Gonzalez’s Gallipolis Ferry home where law enforcement personnel say Adkins allegedly shot the victim twice with a .410 shotgun.
Adkins is set to go to trial in March 2013.