WALKER — The man accused of allegedly stabbing his wife and causing the death of her fetus made a “chilling” 911 call Tuesday to report the incident, District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said Wednesday.
“The victim could be heard screaming in the background,” Perrilloux said after hearing the tape, which the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office is withholding from the public on the grounds that it is evidence in the case.
Authorities allege Jeffery Reynolds cut open his wife’s abdomen and pulled the fetus from her womb.
Reynolds, 31, 30259 Milton Road, Walker, was booked Tuesday on counts of first-degree feticide and attempted second-degree murder of his 28-year-old wife, who is in critical but stable condition, authorities said.
Perrilloux also said that if evidence shows that the fetus began to breathe after being removed from the womb and was then killed, that his office would consider upgrading the case to murder.
The parish Coroner’s Office reported Wednesday that because the case is still under investigation, it is not ready to release any details.
“The child was found on scene deceased with a large laceration on top of the child’s skull,” according to the affidavit attached to the warrant for the arrest of Reynolds on the first-degree feticide count.
The affidavit by sheriff’s Detective Jeff Beatty alleges Reynolds attacked his wife, who was seven-and-a-half-months pregnant, with a kitchen knife inside their home.
During the attack, Reynolds cut her “across her throat and abdomen and removed their unborn child,” the affidavit says.
Officers who arrived on the scene found the suspect kneeling over the victim, the affidavit states.
After authorities struggled with and subdued Reynolds, he was taken to a hospital where he was tested for drugs, Sheriff Jason Ard said.
Ard has asked for an expedited determination of whether there were any drugs in Reynolds’ system, Steele said.
The Sheriff’s Office is not commenting on whether Reynolds was coherent after being taken into custody, spokeswoman Lori Steele said.
She said Reynolds was being held in the Livingston Parish Detention Center, separated from the general population, but she would give no additional details.
Reynolds has no prior criminal history, Steele said.
Steele said Reynolds has only a traffic citation on his record, and the Sheriff’s Office has found no evidence that deputies ever went to the Reynolds residence on any previous domestic disturbance.
The maximum penalty on a first-degree feticide conviction is 15 years in prison and the maximum penalty for an attempted second-degree murder conviction is 50 years, Steele said.
The couple’s 6-year-old child is in the care of a relative, authorities said.