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Kanawha County teenager pleads not guilty to killing 4 family members

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County teenager charged in the 2020 deaths of four family members pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the charges.

Gavin Smith, 18, of Elkview, who was transferred to adult status in May, pleaded not guilty to 4 counts of murder. Kanawha County Circuit Judge Kenneth Ballard set Smith’s trial for Oct. 11.

Smith is charged with shooting and killing family members Daniel Dale Long, 37, Risa Mae Saunders, 39, Gage Ripley, 12, and Jameson Long, 3, in their Elkview area home in December 2020.

Smith was 16 years old at the time of the murders.

Another teenager, 17-year-old Rebecca Lynn Walker, entered a guilty plea last September to four counts of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Smith and Walker were in a relationship at the time of the murders.

Smith remains in the South Central Regional Jail. There’s no bail set in his case.





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