Murder trial ends in hung jury

Murder trial ends in hung jury

After nearly six hours of deliberations on Wednesday, a Logan County jury could not come to a mutual agreement in the murder trial where a man was shot numerous times in 2017.

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Reggie Dewayne Smith is accused and charged with first degree murder in the death of Joey Angelo, who was shot over 30 times in the 300 block of S. Oak on April 4, 2017.

Bracey Jashawn Perry, Frederic Lavelle Veasley Jr. and Derrick Eugene Smith each pleaded guilty for their involvement in the killing.

Jury selection took place on Monday and after 26 potential jurors were excused from the case, the 12-person jury was seated with eight males and four females, including a retired baker, school teacher, geologist, college student, accountant, nurse, rehab tech and an insurance agent.

The jurors were given the case at 4:20 p.m. and after several hours of discussion they stayed deadlocked with a 7-5 vote. Judge Luke Duel called the trial a hung jury just after 10 p.m.

Guthrie News Page attempted to speak with three jurors after being excused from the case, but all three declined to talk.

The Logan County District Attorneys Office, represented by assistant district attorney’s Kevin Etherington and Sierra Pfeiffer, called five witnesses to the stand on Tuesday and two agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations on Wednesday.

According to testimony by Leeann Riley and Rachel Smith, the two arranged for a drug deal (quarter pound of marijuana for $700) earlier in the evening at Riley’s house where Reggie was visiting.

Shortly after Rachel Smith arrived to the home, an unknown vehicle pulled up to the home and an unknown person with a gun fired off one round.

Riley recalled somebody saying, “shoot him, shoot him” as everyone attempted to run away from the shooter. She believed the person was shooting at Reggie.

Afterwards, Rachel Smith drove home and called Angelo (a friend) to come over to her house to be with her. Angelo later left her house and went back to his home just blocks away.

Later in the night, Rachel Smith said she heard a knock on her door and someone saying, “Rachel open the door. It’s Joey.”

She did not recognize the voice and quickly called Angelo, who came back to the house and encountered the men on the front porch where he was later shot numerous times.

In opening arguments, Pfeiffer said Angelo was “in the wrong place, at the wrong time.”

Reggie Dewayne Smith

Reagan Armstrong, who testified at the preliminary hearing, says Derrick Smith (Reggie’s cousin) received a phone call from Reggie that night at her Midwest City apartment. After the call, she drove Derrick, Veasley and Perry to Riley’s house on the west side of town.

She said Derrick drove the vehicle to the east side of town, while Reggie gave directions to the house at 312 S. Oak (Rachel Smith’s home). Once they arrived, she says Derrick, Reggie and Perry got out of the vehicle while her and Veasley stayed in the vehicle.

After hearing gun shots, Armstrong said all three men got back in the vehicle and she drove away. In the car, Armstrong testified Reggie talked about punching the victim in the face, setting a record for shots in a body and the phrase “let it rain.”

Armstrong was arrested two weeks after the shooting for aiding her boyfriend (Derrick) by driving him to Texas and Arkansas. However, she has not been charged for any crime in the case as of late Wednesday evening. Related article: Girlfriend of murder suspect arrested; accused of helping boyfriend escape

Armstrong, who denied her actions in her first interview to law enforcement, read a plea agreement from the witness stand between her and the OSBI agents for her testimony.

Armstrong was interviewed on April 14, 2017 and later on February 13, 2018 but did not mention Reggie saying “let it rain” until after the plea agreement at the preliminary hearing (Feb. 15, 2018).

Reggie Smith’s attorney, Joan Lopez, called the scenario between Armstrong and agents as “you help us, we’ll help you.”

Armstrong said she “did not remember” what Reggie Smith had said in the car in her first two interviews with the police.

Lopez told jurors in her opening and closing arguments that Armstrong had given several versions of the events that took place on the deadly night.

“(She) lied so many times to save her skin,” Lopez said about Armstrong.

In her opening arguments, Pfeiffer said the drug deal earlier in the evening had gone south and that Reggie “got his troops.”  

The district attorney’s office was unable to show any physical evidence to the jury such as phone logs, weapons, finger prints or DNA linking Reggie to the crime scene.

Rachel Smith testified by saying she saw multiple people outside her window dressed in dark clothing, but was unable to identify any of the suspects.

A court date was set for July 12 in the case to set a new trial date.

If found guilty, Reggie could face either a life sentence, or life without the possibility of parole.

One Response to "Murder trial ends in hung jury"

  1. Dana Dunagan   May 16, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Thanks for the report.

    Reply

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