May 20, 2024

Trial set for man, 42, accused in wife’s death

SKOWHEGAN – The murder trial of Richard Reynolds, 42, who is accused of shooting his estranged wife, Rhonda Wakefield-Reynolds, in January 2007, is set to begin Nov. 4.

Reynolds has opted for a jury-waived trial in Somerset County Superior Court that will be heard by Justice Nancy Mills and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, according to court personnel. He has pleaded not guilty.

Reynolds is accused of shooting Wakefield-Reynolds, 37, with a .40-caliber handgun while the couple’s two sons, Jacob, then 6, and Matthew, 4, looked on. Family members have said Wakefield-Reynolds was due to file for divorce from her husband on the day she was shot.

At the time of her death, Wakefield-Reynolds had an active protection from abuse order in effect against her estranged husband. The day before the shooting, the couple attended a custody hearing in Skowhegan District Court during which Wakefield-Reynolds was required to reveal her current address.

The next morning, according to court documents, Reynolds arrived at that address, a home on Bunker Avenue in Fairfield owned by Wakefield-Reynolds’ brother, and shot Wakefield-Reynolds in the head.

She was taken by LifeFlight Air Ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center where she died the next day.

Reynolds admitted his guilt in police interviews, court affidavits state. Earlier this year, his attorney, Peter Barnett of Skowhegan, withdrew a motion he submitted last fall to suppress Reynolds’ statements.

During the interview, according to court documents, Reynolds “confirmed that he voluntarily arrived at the Waterville Police Department because he wanted to tell law enforcement about his wife, that he was not forced or coerced by law enforcement to speak, that no promises were made by law enforcement and that his statements were the product of his own free choice.” The interview was videotaped and audiotaped.

Reynolds has been held at the Maine State Prison in Warren since his arrest and after a psychiatric evaluation at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.


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