Jackson brothers charged in shooting admit to hiding weapon

Friday, September 22, 2006

The judge ordered both parties to submit briefs arguing their position on the gun charges by next week.

Two Jackson brothers stood trial Thursday on gun charges connected to a shooting last month in which a bullet struck a passing vehicle.

Associate Circuit Judge Gary A. Kamp oversaw the hour-and-a-half bench trial for Cody A. Reid, 17, and his brother Lonnie D. Reid, 18, both of 4837 Old Cape Road East.

Both are charged with misdemeanor tampering with evidence for the Aug. 8 shooting near their home. Cody Reid was also charged with misdemeanor discharging a firearm across a public highway, and Lonnie Reid was charged with misdemeanor minor in possession of alcohol.

Lonnie Reid was convicted of the alcohol charge, and Kamp ordered the prosecutor and defense attorney to hand in legal arguments next week related to the other charges before he would rule on them.

Jackson police Sgt. Anthony Henson testified he responded to the teens' home for a call of shots fired. He arrested them and took a written statement from both.

Cody Reid's written statement said that a group of people arrived, began throwing rocks at his house and threatened to beat him with a club. To scare them off, he fired a .22-caliber rifle.

While no one was injured in the shooting, the state alleged the gunshot struck a passing vehicle on Old Cape Road.

Lee Keller, 36, testified he was driving his 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme down the road around 1 a.m. when he heard gunshots and noticed his rear driver's-side window was struck.

He pulled over, walked up the road, heard yelling and saw an "altercation" between a group of people, most of whom he did not know, Keller testified.

He did not know what the altercation was about and saw no one with a gun. Repairs to his window cost about $135, Keller said.

Both Reids' written statements said they hid the weapon under their uncle's home following the shooting.

When the state rested its case, the Reids' assistant public defender, Jennifer Booth, filed a motion for acquittal, arguing Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle failed to provide evidence beyond reasonable doubt.

She cited the fact that when in custody, both teens confessed to the weapon's location.

"In no way was their investigation impaired ... because of the concealment of the gun," Booth said.

Swingle argued that for a misdemeanor charge he didn't have to prove the investigation was hindered by the hiding of the weapon. At the very least, Swingle said, the two should be convicted of attempted tampering with evidence.

Concerning the gun charge, Booth said that Cody Reid did not knowingly shoot toward the road and there was no evidence presented as to where he was standing at the time shots were fired.

But Swingle cited evidence that Reid fired toward the crowd in his yard, which was standing by the road. He noted that had someone been sitting in the back seat of Keller's vehicle, they could have been seriously injured.

Kamp ordered both parties to submit briefs arguing their position on the charges by next week. The judge convicted Lonnie Reid on the alcohol charge based on evidence that the defendant had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.031 percent.

If convicted on all charges, both Reids could be sentenced up to two years in county jail.


335-6611, extension 127

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