• Reginald Reed

Reed indicted in wife’s murder

Amite—District Attorney Scott M. Perrilloux reports that a Tangipahoa Parish Grand Jury returned a true bill of indictment in the 1987 homicide of 26-year-old Selonia Reed.

Indicted for second degree murder and conspiracy to commit second degree murder were Reginald Reed Sr., age 59 and Jimmy Ray Barnes, age 60. Hammond Police booked Reed Friday afternoon, June 21, 2019, at 2:44 PM, minutes before the district attorney’s office distributed a press release announcing the indictment. Police arrested Barnes Friday evening in Atlanta, Georgia.

On August 23, 1987, the body of Selonia Reed was found inside of her vehicle in the parking lot of John’s Curb Market on East Thomas Street in Hammond. For more information on the crime, read our earlier column.

“Recent developments and additional investigative work by law enforcement and further review of the case by the District Attorney’s Office resulted in the case being presented to the grand jury. We felt there was sufficient evidence for consideration and I am pleased with the indictments,” Perrilloux said. “We will continue the work to bring those responsible for the killing of Mrs. Reed to justice.”

District Attorney Scott Perrilloux

The indictments were returned before the Honorable Judge Charlotte Foster who issued warrants for both Reed and Barnes. Bond is set at $250,000 for Reed and $200,000 for Barnes.

A true bill is a type of indictment handed down by a grand jury after it has convened in a criminal matter. Most cases don’t go before a grand jury; these proceedings are reserved for more serious crimes. A grand jury decides whether the defendant should be tried for the crime. Its decision doesn’t result in a conviction; it determines whether the defendant should go to trial. The trial jury will decide whether he should be convicted.

According to the DA, arraignment for both Reed and Barnes will be scheduled at a later date. However, Reed is scheduled to be arraigned July 18, 2019 on rape charges from another incident. It is possible that he will be arraigned on all charges at that time.

Homicide charges are the most severe charges a person can face in Louisiana, a state which supports capital punishment. 

The Louisiana State Legislature defines first-degree murder as the killing of another person with intent while committing another specified felony—or the planned killing of a police officer or public official.

In order words, the main difference between a first-degree murder conviction and a second-degree murder conviction in Louisiana is that a conviction for first-degree murder can lead to the death penalty should the jury decide it is an appropriate punishment. Otherwise, both offenses will lead to life imprisonment with hard labor and without the benefit of having the sentence suspended.

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