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Man rejects plea deal in murder case

November 12, 2018

IRONTON — A South Point area man charged with aggravated murder rejected a plea offer Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court that would have sentenced him to life in prison with parole eligibility after 20 years.

Russell L. Adkins, 38, of County Road 1, South Point, is charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence. He is charged with severely beating Larry Scott Stephenson, 54, of Chesapeake, putting him in a pickup truck and leaving him in an abandoned house.

Adkins subsequently pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He was found competent to stand trial earlier this year. The case is set for trial Dec. 17. Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said the trial could take about a week.

Anderson said Adkins faced a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole eligibility for 20 years, 11 years for kidnapping and three years for tampering with evidence.

Roger Smith, a Huntington attorney representing Adkins, said he conveyed the offer to his client and Adkins rejected it.

Authorities subsequently found Stephenson’s body bound in an abandoned house in the Chesapeake area. Adkins led authorities to find Stephenson, but he had died by the time officers found him.

A co-defendant, Brandy N. Miller, 34, of Township Road 1079, Chesapeake, earlier pleaded guilty to complicity to murder and was sentenced to life in prison. She won’t be eligible to see the parole board for 20 years.

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