Rodney “Cockeye” Stepp, 46, was shot and killed in his driveway in Martin County, Kentucky, in the early hours of December 6, 2017. Police officers who responded to the scene arrested Stepp’s friend Elwood “Woody” Six. Six was charged with second-degree manslaughter but it was later enhanced to first-degree manslaughter, according to WSAZ.
A&E explored the case for its show “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” and followed Six in the months and weeks building up to his trial as viewers were presented with the question of whether Stepp’s shooting death was an act of self-defense. Viewers learned at the end of the episode that the jury found Six guilty of reckless homicide and sentenced to one year in prison.
Heavy spoke with Six’s defense attorney Brandis Bradley ahead of the episode and got the latest on the case and Six. Where is Elwood “Woody” Six today?
Six Was Found Guilty of Reckless Homicide & Charged With 1 Year in Prison But Will Likely Be Released on September 1, 2021
Six was in jail for five months after his arrest because it took some time to get the money for his bond, Bradley told Heavy, so when he was taken into custody after the verdict on July 2, 2021, he already had five months served. Despite receiving a one-year sentence, most inmates only serve about seven-and-a-half months due to good time credit, Bradley shared. Six, now 70, will likely be released on September 1, 2021.
Since Six did not receive a longer sentence, he was not transferred to state prison and public records show he is serving the remainder of his sentence in the Johnson County jail, also known as the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.
A major COVID-19 outbreak in Kentucky has Bradley worried for her client. Although he’s been vaccinated, she told Heavy, “I just want to get him out of there.” The jail has had some positive cases and they’ve been put in isolation, she added, but she won’t be able to rest until Six is back home with his family.
Bradley Said They Decided They Will Not Be Appealing the Verdict
Kentucky is a “stand-your-ground” self-defense state, which is a self-defense law that allows individuals to protect themselves “against the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person” in public. While some states are clear that individuals must also “retreat to safety” before using force, Kentucky’s stand your ground law does not include that duty and allows individuals to use force, even deadly force, without trying to retreat.
That’s why Bradley said she was confident the jury would acquit but she told Heavy that she spoke to jurors after the verdict and they said it had been a compromise, with many feeling like something had to be done because of Stepp’s death. That’s why they opted for the “lowest conviction with the lowest punishment,” she explained. The reckless homicide verdict meant that the jury felt Six overreacted and it caused Stepp’s death despite the stand your ground law.
Because of this, she told Heavy she thinks they have the grounds to appeal but after discussions with Six and his wife Joann, they decided not to file an appeal. She said Six didn’t want the case “hanging over his head” for several more years and just “wants to put it behind him.”
Six Has Taken the Verdict Well & Spent His Time in Jail Helping the Other Inmates as a ‘Father Figure’
Six took the verdict well, Bradley told Heavy. “He was the one calming me down,” she said, and he was “ready to accept whatever came his way.” Six’s wife Joann took it a little harder because she worried about him being in jail, especially as he suffers from Parkinson’s disease and has diabetes.
Bradley said she’s made it a point to visit Six in jail at least once a week while Joann has been able to speak to her husband via video call from the jail’s lobby. “His spirits are good,” Bradley said, and Six sees himself as a “positive influence on the boys in jail” and a sort of “father figure.”
She said her hope is that the “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?” episode will help to clear Six’s name and some of the misconceptions around the case. “The rumors about what happened have been so wild and far-fetched,” Bradley explained, and the show will help to clarify what happened. While Six still hasn’t had contact with his daughters, Bradley is hopeful that the episode will lead to positive developments.