Carroll homicide suspects to make court appearance

MAYVILLE – The four men jailed in connection to the double homicide in the town of Carroll will be in Chautauqua County Court on Friday morning.

Ricky L. Knickerbocker, 18; Joshua A. McCormick, 21; Steven W. Todd, 18; and Davide Coggins, 34, will appear before Court Judge John T. Ward for their arraignment, multiple sources have told the OBSERVER.

The suspects, all from the Elmira area, were apprehended last week after the bodies of Gordon and Joyce Skinner were found inside their Wheeler Hill Road residence. All four were charged with two counts each of felony second-degree murder in their initial court appearance in Carroll.

A preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday in town court was canceled.

“All I can say at this time is that these men will be in Chautauqua County Court for an appearance,” said Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley.

Foley would not say whether the suspects were indicted by a grand jury.

Public Defender Ned Barone, who is representing Coggins, said he was prepared for Thursday’s preliminary hearing when notified of the venue change.

“We were all set to go,” Barone said. “The hearing would have allowed us to get some information, but then things changed. Now the clock starts ticking.”

“It moves the time frame in which we have to gather as much information as possible in a timely fashion,” he said.

A press conference will take place Friday at the court courthouse after the four suspects make their appearance, Foley said.

Firefighters were first alerted last week to a report of a fire at 232 Wheeler Hill Road. First responders discovered a body inside and notified the Sheriff’s Office. A second body was later discovered by investigators.

Sheriff Joe Gerace labeled the deaths as suspicious, and announced the apprehension of the four men a day later at a press conference with Foley.

On Sunday, more than 300 residents turned out in Carroll for a prayer vigil. A memorial service will be held today at 11 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Frewsburg. A memorial fund has been set up to honor the Skinners; organizers are looking to build a memorial in between two weeping cherry trees at the town or Veterans Memorial parks.