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Coggins’ shoeprints cited at scene of slayings

MAYVILLE – Davide Coggins’ shoeprints were found in three locations at a murder scene, jurors were told Tuesday in Chautauqua County Court.

The trial of Coggins, 35, is in its fourth week; he faces charges including first-degree murder in the April 2013 slayings of Gordon and Joyce Skinner, 66 and 59, respectively. The Town of Carroll couple were found dead in their Wheeler Hill Road home.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Williams testified for most of the court session Tuesday. He told the jury about the footprints and said they matched the shoes taken from Coggins when he arrived in Chautauqua County Jail. He also testified about an audiotape that he said was recorded from Coggins’ cellphone. Assistant District Attorney Grace M. Hanlon asked most of the questions of Williams.

The computerized voice on the cellphone audio file said, “You have arrived at your destination.” Williams testified that the phrase matched the Skinner address.

Two footprints were found outside the residence; one print was on the top of the staircase and made in blood. Williams told the jury how specific methods were used to identify tread and manufacturer’s markings on shoes and the wear on the sole of the shoe. He confirmed his identification with a chart for each footprint, Coggins’ shoes and photographs.

Williams also testified about items removed from a gold Pontiac, including a black face mask. The mask was photographed in the car next to a pair of black work gloves. Jurors saw the photographs of the items and heard Williams testify to the chain of evidence and its collection for the trial. Williams identified a fingerprint belonging to Joshua McCormick on a printed map. McCormick testified earlier that he was with Coggins at the Skinner residence on the day of the crime.

Steven Todd, 19 and Ricky Knickerbocker, 19, were also identified as traveling with Coggins.

Knickerbocker was questioned before the jury last week; Todd has not yet testified.

Earlier in the day, the jury saw video footage of the four subjects at two stops near the Town of Carroll: the Red Roof Inn in Falconer and the CVS drugstore in Jamestown.

Employees from both businesses said they saw Coggins and other men enter. Coggins was described as asking for directions from the Falconer location to Frewsburg. The night clerk said he printed the directions out from his computer and provided them to Coggins.

At CVS, surveillance camera tapes clearly showed the four men buying and eating snacks and charging a cellphone. In the videotapes, jurors could see Coggins remove the cellphone from an outlet and pass it off to one of the other four men. The stops were in the early morning hours.

Williams will be cross-examined starting 9 a.m. today by Public Defender Nathaniel L. Barone.