Multiple Wash. Co. criminal cases reset, including murder cases

Becky Campbell • Apr 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Two first-degree murder cases were scheduled for hearings in Washington County Criminal Court Tuesday, but the cases — and several others with recent media attention — were reset because of various reasons.

Steven Odell Bennett, 30, is charged with first-degree murder in the October death of Vonda Donaldson. He’s accused of killing Donaldson, then dumping her body off the Butler Bridge in Carter County. The case was set for motions, but attorneys in the case said they are still gathering information they need before proceeding. The case was rescheduled for July 19.

Another first-degree murder case involving three defendants was also reset from Tuesday to July 19 for a similar reason.

Gary Gilbert, Tony Purcell and Jennifer Purcell are all charged with killing Steven Rodriquez in May 2010. The three are accused of killing Rodriguez in his apartment on East Pine Street and robbing him. The trio is also charged in Virginia with killing Natasha Collins, who is allegedly the woman who led them to Rodriguez. That case is also still pending. Attorneys in the case indicated they intend to file motions in this case as well.

Four defendants charged with willful abuse and neglect of an adult were also in court Tuesday, and their case was rescheduled for July 19 as well.

Rebecca Blevins, 39; Jessica Ketterman, 22; and Jennifer Ketterman, 20, all of Elizabethton, face two counts of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a dependent adult. Amanda Adolphi, 33, Gray. is charged with one count of failing to report abuse, neglect or exploitation of a dependent adult. All the women were certified nursing assistants at Appalachian Christian Village nursing home when the incidents occurred.

They were charged after officials at the nursing home discovered patients were sprayed with water by Blevins, and both Kettermans. Adolphi and another woman, Bonita Scott, knew about the abuse but allegedly didn’t report it. Scott pleaded guilty to failure to report while the cases were still in Washington County Sessions Court. The allegations also included the CNAs taking photos of patients’ bare buttocks and breasts, according to reports from the investigation.

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