Teen Shot in the Head…
Kayla Paige Reynolds,
Kayla was about to start the 8th grade at Post Oak Middle School this past week. Now her closest friends and relatives are trying to cope with a life cut short tragically way too soon. On August 22, 2007 13-year-old Kayla Reynolds was involved in an argument with her father Earl Wayne Reynolds (44) about his drug use and bad checks. (Kayla lived with her father and an elderly relative there-her mother died 3-4 years ago).nutes later, Kayla was shot in the back of the head and fell near the front porch of her home on 11909 Belfonte Road.
She was dead from a gunshot wound-her half-sister was shot and bleeding. The 19-year-old pregnant step sister had also been shot in the chin and was first taken to Mary Washington hospital in Fredericksburg, then flown to VCU Medical Center in Richmond. She is recovering from surgery and the wound is reported to be non life-threatening.
The girls’ uncle,who witnessed the deadly shooting, rushed and called 911. What did the father do, you ask? Did he hurry to his daughter’s side and check wheather she was still breathing? or run around hysterically in regret? No, Earl Wayne Reynolds “sat down and drank a couple of beers.”
I can’t hardly come up with words in response to this…at all. I know about drugs and how they can make you do some off-the-wall things, but to shoot your own daughter in the head and all because you got annoyed with her when she disagrees with your crack habit?
This is truly evil and devestatingly horrid. Why couldn’t Mr. Reynolds have just turned the gun on himself and saved society from the results of his drug use? According to neighbor Martha Schatz, who lived down the street, she had been worried about Kayla’s conditions at home and the family in general.
She said Kayla would come to her and tell stories of abuse and neglect . Schatz told the FreeLancer Star:
“I called Social Services about 3 weeks ago
and Friday they called Butch [Kayla’s father]to investigate..I called them and begged them to help Kayla.“
So heartbreaking to hear that. The neighbor did the right thing to call social services-still it was too late. Maybe if they would have came out a month ago, Kayla Reynolds would still be here.
Instead she was buried today. May she rest in peace as an angel,as she is reunited with her mother Cynthia in heaven.
I continue to wonder when social services and child welfare agencies will do their job to keep the children safe first and investigate all referrals and reports to the fullest extent.
Without a doubt, we’ll have more Kayla’s in the future because they truly aren’t doing their jobs and the children are the ones dying and suffering, unsafe at home.
*Kayla’s Father Takes Guilty Plea*
By ELLEN BILTZ
Earl Wayne “Butch” Reynolds sat with his head down, wiping his eyes and biting his lower lip yesterday morning.
The 45-year-old Partlow man waited solemnly in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court as judge David H. Beck decided to accept the agreement, in which Reynolds pleaded guilty to the murder of his 13-year-old daughter.
Beck read each indictment aloud and Reynolds replied “guilty,” hesitantly and quietly, to the charges of first-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and malicious wounding.
Reynolds opted yesterday to accept the plea agreement rather than face the jury trial scheduled for next week. He was charged with the murder of his daughter, Kayla Reynolds, after she was shot to death in the early morning hours last Aug. 20 on the family’s front porch.
Earl Reynolds was also charged with the aggravated malicious wounding of Amber Barnett, his pregnant stepdaughter, for a gunshot wound to her neck. That charge, however, was reduced to malicious wounding yesterday by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney John C. Bowers, in exchange for the plea.
In August, Reynolds was also charged with two counts of using a firearm in commission of a felony, one of which Bowers dropped yesterday as well. Reynolds’ pleas of guilty were all Alford pleas, and his defense attorney, Mark Gardner, told the court that in Reynolds’ case, the Alford plea was because his client did not have a clear recall of the events that led to his daughter’s death.
“He wants the court and the community to know he takes full responsibility,” Gardner said.Reynolds will be sentenced Aug. 27th. First-degree murder carries a maximum of life in prison; malicious wounding carries a maximum of 20 years in prison; and the firearms charge carries a mandatory three years.
Bowers said the sentencing guidelines for the case call for 34 years in prison, which would make Reynolds 79 when he is released. Bowers said however, that he would probably ask for more time behind bars than the guidelines call for. “There is absolutely no agreement regarding the ultimate sentence,” he said. Gardner said in court yesterday that he would be presenting a psychiatric evaluation at the sentencing hearing.
After court, he said the evaluation, which has already been completed, was not enough to support an insanity plea but does provide “mitigating circumstances” that will be relevant for sentencing. Bowers said that he plans to put Barnett, Kayla’s half sister who was also shot Aug. 20, on the stand at the sentencing hearing. Barnett also testified at Reynolds’ preliminary hearing, where she told the court she was afraid for her life the morning of the shooting.
According to the plea agreement and evidence at the sentencing hearing, Reynolds, Barnett and Kayla got into an argument about his use of drugs the night before the shooting.The argument continued for hours and at one point, Reynolds went to borrow a gun from a friend. He then returned, shot a car and fired a shot that missed Barnett. He then shot Barnett in the neck, and she fell to the ground. She testified that she heard Kayla say “No, Daddy, no,” and then another shot was fired.
Kayla died on the porch of a gunshot wound to the head.
Reynolds was arrested soon after police arrived, when they found him leaving the woods behind the family’s home. Since the day he was arrested, he has admitted to the shooting.
Read Reynold’s Plea Below… (click link)