LISBON — Gary E. Joiner, the Homeworth man charged with the murder of Ryan Virden, has pleaded guilty to other charges stemming from his actions while incarcerated in the county jail.

In front of Judge Megan Bickerton on Tuesday afternoon, Joiner, 43, of Homeworth Road, pleaded guilty to charges of felony assault, a second-degree felony and two third-degree felony charges of aiding and abetting the commission of a offense.

According to Deputy County Chief Prosecutor Ryan Weikart, there is no plea agreement for a recommended sentence for the charges. The felony assault charge, which involves injuring fellow inmate Rusty Altman on Sept. 11, 2021, could carry a maximum sentence of eight to 12 years in prison. The aiding and abetting charges were for trying to convince Nicole Kenst to bring drugs onto the county jail grounds for him between August 11 and August 23, 2021. The maximum sentence for each of those two charges is three years each. The total maximum sentence could be an indefinite term of 14 to 18 years.

Sentencing on all three counts is scheduled for May 16.

Joiner has been held in the county jail on $1 million bond since Virden’s alleged murder more than a year ago.

He is due to stand trial by jury on May 23 on two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated burglary, murder, possession of weapons while incapacitated and tampering with evidence. These would involve breaking into Kenst’s house and shooting Virden in the bedroom on March 29, 2021.

If convicted of these charges, Joiner faces a life sentence.




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