David Joshua Reed.jpg

Reed

A Lindale man was indicted earlier this month on a capital murder of multiple persons charge in connection with the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and another man in December.

A Smith County grand jury handed down an indictment for David Joshua Reed, 40, on Feb. 4. He has been in the Smith County Jail since Dec. 9 on a $1 million bond.

Reed admitted to using his pickup truck to destroy the camper trailer where his ex-girlfriend, Shelby Duarte, 23, of Edgewood, and another man, Timothy Nelson, 43, of Lindale, lived in the 19000 block of County Road 431 (Jim Hogg Road) at around 1 a.m. Dec. 9.

Nelson died at the scene and Duarte later died at a hospital.

Police documents state Reed’s friends said he was upset over Duarte possibly being pregnant.

The arrest warrant affidavit said Reed left a voicemail on Duarte’s phone saying, “You reap what you sow, I will see you in hell,” before he crashed his truck into the camper trailer.

On Dec. 9, the Texas Department of Public Safety, who responded to the initial call as a traffic accident, learned the pickup belonged to Reed. Investigators found his cell phone in the vehicle and four propane tanks, which officers found suspicious for a single cab truck.

Through further investigation, police learned Reed is a suspect in several cases against Duarte, including aggravated kidnapping at the beginning of this year and assault from last month, according to the affidavit.

Reed’s friends said he was “distraught” in the last couple of days because Duarte was “possibly pregnant,” the affidavit stated. Nelson’s family told police they didn’t want Duarte moving in with Nelson “due to her being and bringing problems.”

In his interview with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Reed admitted to driving into the camper trailer and he intended to cause harm or death to Duarte and Nelson. He said Duarte told him she was pregnant, and Reed added Duarte would tell him she wanted to be with him but stayed with Nelson.

Two hours before the trailer-truck collision, Reed said he was texting Duarte and then Nelson started sending messages. Reed got angry and he later told police he made the choice to go to Nelson’s residence with the intention to kill Duarte and Nelson, the affidavit explained.

Reed also told law enforcement he wanted to kill himself as well, and he had the propane bottles believing the crash would “blow him up.”

He drove by Nelson’s residence at first and later parked a few blocks down the road to send Duarte the threatening voicemail. Reed told a sheriff’s deputy he started to drive toward the camper at a high speed, while opening a propane tank, according to the document.

Reed said, “he did not care anymore and also knew he would be killing his unborn child,” the affidavit read.

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I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.