Gilmer man sentenced in death of cousin

Llewellyn Adkins (Upshur County Sheriff's Office)

GILMER - A 40-year-old Gilmer man was sentenced to 40 years in prison afterpleading guilty to the 2015 murder of his cousin.

Llewellyn Eugene Adkinspleaded guilty to the May 31, 2015, fatal shooting of his cousin, 42-year-old Kendrick Darrell Adkins, of Lindale, Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said Monday.

District Judge Lauren Parish sentenced the defendant Oct. 10.

Although a laboratory could not positively identify a body found in a burn pile behind the defendant's home on U.S. Highway 271 south of Gilmer, blood found inside the residence was identified as Kendrick Adkins', enabling the state to conclude the body was his, Byrd said.

Because of the condition of the remains found in the burn pile, a pathologist was unable to determine the cause of death, Byrd said. However, the prosecutor said they believe Kendrick Adkins was shot with a .22-caliber revolver.

"The defendant told a witness that he had shot somebody, but he had not identified who that was, so we alleged shooting," since the blood splatter found in the home was "consistent with being from a high-velocity weapon or a firearm," Byrd said Monday. 

The victim's family believes, based on an audio recording it received, others may have been involved in the homicide, Byrd said, meaning the case remains under investigation.

Byrd represented the state in the case, investigated by the Upshur County Sheriff's Office. Longview attorney Scott Novy represented the defendant, who was originally from Lindale, Byrd said.

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