A trial for a teen charged with the fatal shooting of another teen in Middletown last spring has been continued for a fourth time.
Gonnii White, now 17, is charged with murder with the specifications that he used a firearm and was participating in a gang at the time of the shooting death of Joesph Davis, 17, near the corner of Woodlawn Avenue and Garfield Street during the late-night hours of May 29, 2018.
White is being tried as an adult after the case was bound over to Common Pleas Court by Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Romans. His trial was scheduled to begin today in Butler County Common Pleas Court, but was continued by Judge Noah Powers II until June 10 at the request of the defense.
White’s attorney, Timothy Upton, said last week the trial be continued because “new developments require defense counsel more time to prepare for trial.”
Upton also noted the motion for a continuance that White’s first attorney withdrew for the case. He was assigned in December 2018.
In January, following a hearing during which a tape of Middletown detectives questioning the teen was played, Powers ruled White’s confession will be permitted as evidence at trial.
Upton filed a motion to suppress the statement, arguing White’s rights were violated. In the motion, Upton said White was 16 at the time of the interrogation by police and was not accompanied by an attorney, parent or guardian.
Assistant Prosecutor Brad Burress said in a written response that White was read his Miranda warning just seven minutes into the 60-minute interview with Detective Kristi Hughes and Detective Steve Winters after they asked basic questions including date of birth, phone number and family history.
The prosecution said White voluntarily made statements and was not coerced by the detectives in any way.
Powers agreed with the prosecution and overruled the motion to suppress.