UPDATE: Reynolds' son takes stand, says 'he was a great dad'
Updated Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. CDT
The son of a man who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing his wife's boyfriend took the stand in the Smith County 7th District Court on Thursday to testify about his father's character.
Jesse Reynolds, 18, grew emotional and began to cry as he testified for the defense. “He was a great dad — I wouldn't ask for a better one,” he said about Ricky Reynolds, 47, who pleaded guilty to killing Chad Jones in November 2010. Reynolds saw his wife Ava and the victim kissing as he looked at them through a window.
The younger Reynolds said he never saw his father point a gun at his mother in August 2010 as Mrs. Reynolds said in testimony on Wednesday, nor had he seen his father hit his mother.Updated Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 9:48 a.m. CDT
Reynolds is expected to take the stand in his own defense this afternoon.
A man who pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday will take the stand in his own defense this morning. Defense Attorney Brett Harrison said Ricky Reynolds acted in sudden passion when he shot and killed Chad Jones in 2010.
By DAYNA WORCHELdworchel@tylerpaper.com
A Smith County woman whose husband pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a man the woman said was just a friend testified that she lied to police about the nature of their relationship.
Ava Reynolds told jurors in the 7th District Court on Wednesday that she and Chad Jones had been engaged in a sexual relationship several weeks before her husband, Ricky Jay Reynolds, 47, shot Jones after Reynolds saw the two kissing through a window.
Reynolds pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the November 2010 murder. He has opted to have a jury decide his punishment and faces up to life in prison, Smith County Assistant District Attorney Richard Vance said.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys spent several hours questioning Mrs. Reynolds on Wednesday morning. She cried on the witness stand as she related how she found Jones, a man with whom she had an intimate relationship while married to the defendant, face down on the floor of the home on the property she and Reynolds own.
Reynolds saw his wife and Jones kissing each other on the lips through a window inside of a home on their property on County Road 21 when he walked inside and confronted them on Nov. 14, 2010. Mrs. Reynolds testified that she kissed Jones, who was staying in the home on her property temporarily while he was unemployed, to reassure him that he would soon find a job.
Mrs. Reynolds said her brother, who had recently died from cancer, had been staying at the same property where Jones was staying, and she was going through boxes of his possessions as she talked to Jones and then kissed him.
The defendant walked in to confront the two, yelling at Jones to leave, and then calmly drove back to the home he shared with his wife, Mrs. Reynolds testified. She said she had a discussion with her husband about the need for the two to separate and get counseling to work on their marriage. She testified she went to use the restroom and when she returned, the defendant had left.
Mrs. Reynolds drove back to the home where her husband had confronted her and Jones. "I had a bad feeling. Chad was face down, there was blood everywhere. ... I tried to figure out where the blood was coming from ... the next thought that came to my head was my kids," Mrs. Reynolds said, referring to her two teenage children she had with her husband.
After calling for help, she told the children, who were ages 14 and 16 at the time, to get in the car with her because their father had just shot and killed Jones. Mrs. Reynolds followed her husband in the car as he drove down County Road 21 until Smith County deputies arrived.
Several Smith County deputies testified on Tuesday that it took an hour and 45 minutes for them to talk Reynolds out of his car once he stopped. During that time, the defendant displayed a gun and drank several beers as he talked to deputies. When he left the truck to use the restroom, deputies arrested him.
Mrs. Reynolds testified in court that several weeks before the killing, her husband had been physically abusive with her, and pointed a gun at her. Vance showed pictures of bruises all over Mrs. Reynolds' body to the jury.
She said she called police and spent the night with her brother. "I wanted him to get help and to stop drinking," she said.
Defense attorney Brett Harrison, who declined to make an opening statement in the trial, questioned Mrs. Reynolds about her sexual relationship with Jones, and how she lied to her husband about how she met Jones.
She testified, in response to questioning from Harrison, that she and Jones had engaged in a sexual relationship while he lived on the Reynolds' property and that she lied to police about the nature of their relationship.
Testimony continues today.