Sheriff: Man charged with killing West Virginia boy in 1985

Posted at 2:52 PM, February 15, 2023 and last updated 11:41 PM, February 15, 2023

KINGWOOD, W.Va. (AP) — Police have made an arrest in the cold case slaying of a 13-year-old West Virginia boy.

The 13-year-old victim, Jerimiah “Jerry” Matthew Watkins (Preston County Sheriff’s Office)

David Monroe Adams, 56, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jerimiah “Jerry” Matthew Watkins, whose body was found in a shallow hole near railroad tracks on Nov. 12, 1985, in Terra Alta, news outlets reported, citing a statement Tuesday from the Preston County Sheriff’s Office. Adams was 18 and lived in Terra Alta at the time of the slaying.

The sheriff’s office began reviewing the case earlier this month and found some inconsistent statements Adams had reportedly made at the time of the slaying, the statement said

“As part of renewing the investigation, law enforcement conducted multiple interviews with Mr. Adams and he eventually confessed that an argument that started over a stolen bicycle” resulted in the teen’s death.

An autopsy revealed Watkins had suffered a brain bleed from an apparent blow to the head, and the cause of death was ruled as a stab wound, deputies said.

Adams is being held at North Central Regional Jail. Online jail records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney.

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