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West Virginia Man Allegedly Confesses to Killing Boy Over Bicycle in 1985

David Monroe Adams has allegedly admitted to killing 13-year-old Jerimiah “Jerry” Matthew Watkins over a bicycle in 1985.

By Gina Tron
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

A man has allegedly confessed to the killing of a 13-year-old boy, nearly four decades after the gruesome murder.

The body of Jeremiah “Jerry” Matthew Watkins was found on Nov. 12, 1985, in a shallow hole near some train tracks in the town of Terra Alta, West Virginia, according to a Tuesday press release from the Preston County Sheriff's Office. He had been fatally stabbed in the back. He also suffered a brain bleed due to an apparent blow to the head, WDTV reports.

“Despite law enforcement's efforts at that time — which also included helping countless families cope with the recent devastating flood — the case remained unsolved,” the press release states. (The murder had occurred just one week after historic flooding in central and southwestern Virginia as a result of a couple of storms.)

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Renewed efforts this year, however, have turned the case around. The sheriff’s department “began a thorough review of this case” earlier this month as Preston County Sheriff’s Office Capt. T. N. Tichnell began focusing his efforts on a man named David Monroe Adams, now 56 and living in Westover, W. Va. He was 18 years old at the time of the murder and living in Terra Alta.

A police handout of victim Jerry Watkins

“During the review, [Tichnell] noted a number of inconsistent statements made by [Adams],” the press release states. “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 Jerry being taken into a shed and murdered.”

Adams has been charged with second-degree murder. He is currently being held on a $1 million bond. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.  

“Further charges are anticipated and the investigation continues,” the Preston County Sheriff’s Office wrote in their statement. They noted that the West Virginia State Police and the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the case. 

“May you finally rest in peace, Jerry,” the sheriff's office stated.

Anyone with any further information is asked to contact Captain Tichnell at 304-329-1611, ext. 2152.

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