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Man admits to murdering Lincoln County mother

August 8, 2018
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Corey Seth Chapman, 27, of Salt Rock, W.Va., pleads guilty to murder in the 2016 strangulation death of Kayla Adkins before Cabell Circuit Judge Christopher D. Chiles on Tuesday.

HUNTINGTON — A Salt Rock, West Virginia, man admitted Tuesday to murder in the 2016 strangling death of young mother Kayla Adkins, whose family and friends were left searching for days before they found her body left to rot in a watering trough.

Corey Seth Chapman, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and concealment of a deceased human body before Cabell Circuit Judge Christopher D. Chiles.

Chiles sentenced Chapman to serve 40 years for the murder and one to five years for the concealment charge, totaling a 41-to 45-year prison sentence. He will return for consideration of the sentence Sept. 28, when family members will be able to give victim impact statements on the loss of the woman.

While Chapman did not give a statement in court giving details of the murder, Chiles said in his plea forms Chapman wrote that he “choked Kayla Adkins and did not stop when (he) knew it would kill her, and then (he) hid her body.”

He has been jailed since he was arrested and charged with murder Nov. 14, 2016, two weeks after Adkins, 26, was reported missing. She was last seen around 8 p.m. Nov. 1, 2016, leaving the Harts area in Lincoln County.

Her body was found by a search party two days later, in a trough behind an abandoned barn on Hickory Ridge Road, about five miles northwest of Salt Rock. West Virginia State Trooper M.C. McMillian testified that Chapman allegedly admitted to State Police he was in a relationship with Adkins.

Officers said that in Chapman’s statement to police, he said the pair had gotten into an argument about the status of their relationship while he was driving. He said he stopped to let her out of his vehicle and she became erratic.

He told troopers he placed Adkins in a “reverse bear-hug hold” at some point to calm her down, but she stopped breathing and fell dead to the ground.

Adkins’ autopsy and evidence did not match Chapman’s accounts, however, according to authorities.

Prior to the plea hearing, Chiles requested the families of Adkins and Chapman be quiet and respectful as the hearing took place, a request they followed.

The request was made not only because of the brutal murder, but also the retaliation allegedly perpetrated by Adkins’ father, who is accused of shooting at the homes of Chapman’s family members and the home and business of the suspect’s attorney.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

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