By Vic Couvillion
Special to The Advocate
February 19, 2013
LIVINGSTON — Bail for Jeffery Reynolds, the Walker man accused of attacking his pregnant wife and killing the child she was carrying, was revoked Monday by 21st Judicial District Judge Brenda Ricks.
Reynolds has been held in the Livingston Parish Jail since his Oct. 23 arrest on counts of first-degree feticide, attempted second-degree murder and battery on a police officer.
Walker police and Livingston Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested Reynolds at his 30259 Milton Road home, where he allegedly had attacked his wife, Paula Reynolds. She survived the attack.
Jeffery Reynolds, 31, had been held in lieu of $500,000 bail. Ricks ruled in favor of a request from Assistant District Attorney Charlotte Herbert to deny Reynolds bail because he could pose a threat to Paula Reynolds and others in the community.
Herbert noted a letter Jeffery Reynolds sent to Patricia “Patty” Cook, the mother of Paula Reynolds.
Fighting back tears, Cook testified Monday that in mid-November she received a long letter from Jeffery Reynolds saying that if he could raise bail, he would leave Louisiana and go to Florida. In the letter, Cook testified, Reynolds wrote that if he remained in Louisiana, “someone might try to kill me.”
Cook testified that she has been the caretaker for her daughter during her long recovery from the attack. Cook also identified the infant as “baby Isaac.”
Herbert, who did not read the letter aloud, entered the document into the court record.
Defense attorney Barry Pike told Ricks he did not see how the letter could be construed as a threat. Pike, a public defender, suggested the state had created conditions that made Jeffery Reynolds fear for his life.
Pike said Reynolds has been held in solitary confinement since his Oct. 23 arrest, and on the rare occasions when he is allowed to leave his cell, he is made to wear a bullet-proof vest and is accompanied by several deputies.
“Because of this forced isolation and the constant lockdown, Jeffery Reynolds had to think that he was being threatened and his life was in danger, and not the other way around,” Pike argued.
The hearing opened with testimony from Livingston Parish sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Beatty, who said he arrived at the Reynolds home shortly after 11 a.m.
While driving to the home, Beatty testified, he heard Jeffery Reynolds on a 911 call threaten Paula Reynolds and subsequently heard screams from the victim and partially incoherent ranting from Jeffery Reynolds.
Reynolds, Beatty said, admitted he had smoked some “herbal incense.”
Beatty testified that he saw that Paula Reynolds’ torso had been “cut open” and that her baby was still attached by the umbilical cord.
Others on the scene removed the baby, and wrapped it in a blanket and placed it on a couch, he said. The baby was already dead, Beatty said.
The deputy also testified that when he interviewed Jeffery Reynolds later in the day at the parish detention center, Reynolds again mentioned he had smoked herbal incense and had started “having visions” before the incident.
At the hearing’s conclusion, Ricks set the next set of preliminary hearings for April 8, when she will hear any additional motions from the prosecution and the defense.
No trial date has been set.