Guyandotte murder case heading to grand jury

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The case for a man charged with aggravated murder after another man was found beaten to death along the Guyandotte River will go to a grand jury.

Cabell County Magistrate Judge Mike Woelfel found probable cause in the case against Anthony Adkins.

Police say Douglas Daniels, 39, of Huntington, was found dead May 4th on the west bank of the Guyandotte River.

Daniels suffered blunt force trauma to the head.

When officers arrived on scene, they saw another man leaving the scene heading north.

Officers followed the man to the 3rd Avenue bridge where he jumped off. Police confronted the man and he swam back toward the middle of the river.

The man went under and still has not been found. Family members tell WSAZ Joey Vernetter, 26, is the man who jumped in the river.

In magistrate court Wednesday morning, Huntington Police Detective Chris Sperry said that Adkins admitted to hitting Daniels with his fist during a statement.

Sperry says Adkins then said "it went too far" and that he "wanted to leave" and wanted "Joey to leave with him."

Prosecutors say a brick was involved in the beating.

The defense claims that Joey Vernetter used the brick to hit Daniels and that Adkins tried to stop him.

Prosecutors say Adkins claimed Vernetter was his half brother but Vernetter's mother told WSAZ the two are not related.

More details emerged about the moments following the beating.

Detective Sperry says Daniels was so badly beaten, he had to be identified by finger prints.

Police say Adkins contacted a woman to pick him up following the attack.

Detective Sperry says two women were in the car with Adkins, who was "covered in blood" and was carrying a duffel bag.

Police say Adkins and one woman went to Cabell Huntington Hospital for an unrelated injury.

Detective Sperry said the woman called 911, but officers did not find Adkins while there because he was in a bathroom changing.

He was later found at a grocery store and arrested. Police say he was still covered in blood when he was arrested. He did not appear to have any physical injuries.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and for the latest information.

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