“Oh God! Oh God!” was my lone anguished response in the court room when Corey Reynolds’ verdict:“Guilty of first degree attempted murder” was announced. Stunned! I truly believed as Corey did that “the truth” would set him free. Corey did tell the truth with confidence, not “with little or no apparent emotion” as inferred in the News-Journal February 14th article by Frank Fernandez.
It occurred to me then, the trial was not about Corey Reynolds, but about a fractured Judicial System that favors police departments and law enforcement. As both prosecution and defense presented before the court the events which occurred within 5 to 8 seconds of the shooting in question, clearly two stories emerged with significant similarities and differences leaving sufficient room to question. Regarding those few seconds, why is the defendant’s testimony of the chaotic moments deemed preposterous while the prosecution’s testimony is voiced as unquestioned truth.
Confused by the verdict, I researched a December 2011 article in the Beacon about Corey’s initial arrest. The article quoted Ben Johnson, our elected Police Chief, uttering these sentiments: "I hope he (Corey) never gets out. He deserves to rot. If they try to plea-bargain, you'll see some kind of mortal hell break down.” Is law enforcement on the side of Justice? The bitterness, the brutality, and the bias of some police officers toward individuals suspected of committing a crime, and hateful words spoken by models of justice regarding individuals not yet tried scare me.
No doubt, Corey made serious errors in judgement, but he did not intentionally attempt to murder the two policemen. I wonder had he been apprehended in a more civil manner that morning, if the outcome might have been significantly different... maybe not. What is the truth?