Early in the morning of December 6, 2017, Rodney “Cockeye” Stepp was shot and killed on his driveway in Martin County, Kentucky. His friend Elwood “Woody” Six was arrested at the scene and charged with second degree manslaughter, a charge that was later upgraded to first degree manslaughter. WYMT reported at the time. Six has pleaded not guilty and said the shooting was an act of self-defense.
The case is being explored in “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” From A&E that documents the cases from the perspective of the accused, including his defense, trial and how his family is handling the process. The premiere episode of the second season, titled “Best Friend Murder or Self Defense?” He followed Six after being charged with the shooting death of his friend.
Heavy spoke with Six’s defense attorney, Brandis Bradley, about the episode, the the latest with Six and everything that viewers couldn’t see on the show.
Stepp was shot and killed in his driveway by six after the 2 spent Christmas shopping
The court heard that on December 5, 2017, Six agreed to take Stepp on an afternoon Christmas shopping because his friend had been drinking and couldn’t drive alone, Bradley shared with Heavy. Six, 66 at the time, was more than just a friend to Stepp, 46; He was also the first cousin of Stepp’s father, who had passed away in recent years.
The two spent the afternoon and evening running errands and after several stops, they returned to Stepp’s house just before 3 a.m. on December 6. According to Bradley, the evidence showed that the two had been arguing on and off throughout the day as Six was trying to get Stepp to stop drinking while Stepp was mad at him for scolding him.
Tension continued to mount between the two and Stepp was aggressive and threatening toward Six as he got into his truck to drive off, Bradley told the court during Six’s trial. The situation escalated and Six shot Stepp once. The prosecution argued during the trial that the angle of the shooting and the entry of the bullet meant that Six was probably still in his truck during the shooting, Bradley explained.
He also told Heavy that the defense position was that his client knew his friend was armed and Stepp searched his pocket, prompting Six to shoot him in self-defense. On the 911 call, Six was heard saying that Stepp had him by the neck and that he would not let him go and that he was afraid that Stepp would kill him, Bradley shared.
After hearing arguments from the prosecution and defense, the jury found Six not guilty of manslaughter, but convicted him of reckless manslaughter. According to Kentucky law, that charge means “recklessly he causes[d] the death of another person. “
A police officer detained the couple shortly before the shooting and said Stepp was angry
During Heavy’s interview with Bradley, he revealed that there was key evidence that he did not make the final edit of “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” episode, which includes an interesting exchange between Stepp and a police officer the night of the fatal shooting. As the viewers saw, Stepp made a “Cockeye Live”Video on Facebook of Walmart while Six waited in the vehicle.
Bradley said that after leaving the store, a Walmart employee called police and reported that Stepp was “very intoxicated” and that they were not sure if he was driving, so they gave authorities a description of his vehicle. Three minutes later, a police officer saw the vehicle and crossed the double line on the highway, so he decided to stop them and see if the “very drunk” man from Walmart was driving.
Bradley told Heavy that Six, who was behind the wheel, had been telling Stepp to stop drinking and Stepp got angry and agitated so Six decided to plug in his phone and play gospel music. She said she crossed the double line while looking for the cable to connect her phone to the stereo system.
According to Bradley, the police officer wrote in his incident report after the traffic stop that Stepp was belligerent, angry and cursed at the situation. Since Six was the driver and was completely sober, the police officer simply issued a citation for crossing the double line and failing to present proof of insurance for the vehicle, which belonged to Stepp and his wife.
The episode did not include that evidence, which showed that Stepp had the ability to get angry while drinking. In fact, viewers might wonder why Bradley didn’t call any characters as witnesses, especially after the prosecution called Six’s neighbor, State Trooper Mike Goble, to testify that Six, not Stepp, had a reputation in the community. for being violent.
“It was a strategic decision,” Bradley explained, because there was no shortage of character witnesses they could have called. However, if they had, it would have “opened the door to the prosecution” to call more witnesses like Goble and would not have benefited his defense. Goble’s testimony really affected Six’s wife, Joann, Bradley added, but he told Heavy he’s hopeful the show will help people view Six in a more compassionate and understanding way.