madison-press.com

Skaggs charged with murder

By Lora Abernathy labernathy@civitasmedia.com

June 2, 2014

Cody A. Skaggs has been arrested for the murder of Oscar Gonzales.


Gonzales, 34, was stabbed once in the chest by Skaggs, of Wilmington, on April 30, 2013 around 1 p.m. at Pettit’s Gas Station in downtown Wilmington, according to the Wilmington Police Department.


Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand said Monday that Skaggs was recently indicted by a Clinton County Grand Jury for murder and felonious assault, and was arrested and taken to the Clinton County Jail.


After the stabbing, Gonzales was transported from the service station in a private vehicle to Clinton Memorial Hospital. He was flown by a medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital where he died, according to police.


Skaggs, who was 20 years old at the time, turned himself in at the police station 15 to 20 minutes after the stabbing. He was placed in investigative custody, but was later released, said Chief Detective Josh Riley at the time of the incident. No charges were filed at the time, pending the complete investigation.


Police received the results of the victim’s autopsy on June 27, 2013, and the case was turned over to a special prosecutor from the office of the Ohio Attorney General in September 2013 due to a possible conflict of interest with the Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.


Clinton County Prosecutor Rick Moyer told the News Journal in February that a family member of an employee — who is not an attorney - “had a relationship or was friends with the alleged defendant.”


Moyer said because of the relationship, he felt it was not appropriate for his office to take the case.


Weyand said that after his department decided not to go through the county prosecutor’s office, the WPD then had to wait on a special prosecutor to be appointed, then work around his schedule and caseload he had from his own county.


“That’s really all it was,” Weyand said, referring to why an indictment did not occur sooner.


The murder charge is a first-degree felony, and the felonious assault charge is a second-degree felony.


Lora Abernathy can be reached at 937-382-2574, ext. 215, or on Twitter @AbernathyLora.