Man accused of feticide enters insanity plea

Advocate staff photo by BOB ANDERSON -- Jeffery Reynolds, who is accused of feticide and attempted murder, is accompanied to court by Lt. Tom Martin of the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office.
Advocate staff photo by BOB ANDERSON -- Jeffery Reynolds, who is accused of feticide and attempted murder, is accompanied to court by Lt. Tom Martin of the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office.

The man accused of stabbing his wife and ripping the fetus from her body pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Monday afternoon.

Public defender Jasper S. Brock made the plea change from a simple plea of not guilty for 6-foot-8-inch Jeffery Reynolds, who towered over deputies and attorneys in the courtroom.

Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and a protective vest, the Walker man said nothing in court, but as he walked from a police car to the courtroom he told reporters: “I love my wife.”

Reynolds was brought from jail in a separate vehicle from other prisoners and held in a separate room until he was brought before 21st Judicial District Judge Beth Wolf.

Brock asked that a sanity commission be set up in the case, and Wolf set a sanity hearing for June 13.

Reynolds, 31, is charged with first-degree feticide, attempted second-degree murder and battery on a police officer.

During the short court hearing, Brock said he is not questioning Reynolds’ competency to stand trail, but his state of mind during the incident in October.

Authorities alleged that on Oct. 23 Reynolds cut the fetus from his wife, Paula, at their Milton Road residence, tried to kill her, called 911 and then fought officers when they arrived. His wife survived the attack.

The 911 call included partially incoherent ranting from Reynolds and screams from his wife, deputy Jeff Beatty testified at a previous hearing at which the judge revoked bail for Reynolds.

In an interview on the day of his arrest, Reynolds said he had smoked herbal incense and began having visions, Beatty testified.

Reynolds continues to be held without bail in the Livingston Parish Detention Center, where he is separated from the jail’s regular population for his own safety, Sheriff Jason Ard said.

At Monday’s hearing, Brock asked for the results from search warrants, including one for Reynolds’ cellphone.

He also asked for copies of numerous videos that were on Reynolds’ computer, which authorities confiscated.

Assistant District Attorney Charlotte Herbert told the judge she had no objection to the defense receiving that information.