Man Faces DUI & Murder Charges In Pike County

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

He's facing a murder and DUI charge after a deadly crash, but it's not the first time Billy Reed has been in front of a judge in Pike County.

Mary Church is very upset and thinks her husband death could have been prevented.

The accused drunk driver, Billy Reed has two other DUI charges from months ago pending in court.

The churches are upset he was still allowed on the road.

Ronnie Church's family saw his accused killer for the first time, but his wife Mary could not even go in the courtroom in Pikeville.

“I couldn't face him,” Church said.

She believes Billy Reed robbed her and her two children of her husband.

Church was on his motorcycle at a red light when State Police say Reed hit him driving nearly 60 miles an hour.

The trooper testified Reed appeared drunk, failed all the field sobriety tests, and admitted he'd been to a methadone clinic that day.

The trooper charged him with DUI and murder.

“I felt him being under the influence of alcohol and intoxicants and him striking another vehicle, he was the cause of death,” Trooper Jason Merlo said.

That wasn't the first time Reed was charged with DUI.

Prosecutors say he had two other cases pending in court and was out of jail waiting for trial.

“It breaks my heart. It's uncalled for. Something should have been done. This could have been prevented,” Church said.

Prosecutors blame a backlog of cases but say Reed's blood alcohol level was below the legal limit on the first DUI.

“We would not dismiss it. We continued to prosecute the case we had. The system works how it does and we're all faced with reality, the backlog and everything else,” Roger Varney said.

Reed's attorney wouldn't comment on his pending DUI charges but says they don't matter in this murder case.

“He's not on trial for that and he shouldn't be on trial for that. He's on trial for what he's charged with today,” Steve Owens said.

Mary says she wants to make sure Reed doesn't drive again.

Reed's case was bound over to the grand jury and now they must decide if reed should be charged with murder.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Andy Location: Pikeville, KY on Jan 29, 2008 at 07:10 PM
    People on Methadone Maint. Treatment / Endorphine Deficiency Replacement Treatment are not intoxicated once stabilized on methadone. According to every study since the 1960s. Don't believe me? Check out the White House Drug Policy : http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/factsht/methadone/index.html Also check out: http://www.drugpolicy.org/docUploads/aboutmethadone.pdf Billy Reed was drunk. I dont understand all this bad press directed against methadone treatment. These programs reduce crime and save peoples lives.
  • by Jennine Location: Belfry, Kentucky on Jan 20, 2008 at 08:22 PM
    I love this family dearly.. I have known Mary all my life and her husband just over the past few years.. The fact of the matter is if there is such a "back log" in our courts then why aren't they moving the cases along a little faster and taking care of this "back log"... It's so sad that a life, son, husband, brother, father, and friend had to be taken to bring such light to this "back log"... Come on Pike County Clean it up when it comes to the DUI and Drugs in our County... Why are people like Billy Reed allowed to be behind the wheel? OH yeah, I forgot, "back log".......
  • by randy Location: pikeville on Jan 18, 2008 at 07:15 AM
    if the Judge done his job Reed would not been on the road another person taken by a repeat drug addict or drunk driver this is how it always ends.
  • by Anonymous Location: Kentucky on Jan 17, 2008 at 04:30 PM
    The punishment should fit the crime.... this family is forever without a husband, daddy, brother, and son. What amazes me is that he still had a license. One innocent man is gone because of the injustice of court system. His attorney can talk all the smack he wants but how would he feel if it were a family member of his. God bless Mrs. Church and her 2 boys. Their life is forever changed all because of a habit and neglect of the courts and one man making horrible decisions!!!
  • by donna Location: pikeville on Jan 17, 2008 at 04:25 PM
    anyone out there know the whole story on that day
  • by RALPH Location: PIKEVILLE on Jan 17, 2008 at 04:23 PM
    FIRST OFF, ALL DUI OFFENDERS WHEN CAUGHT SHOULD BE DROPPED OFF ON SOME DESSERT ISLAND AND LEFT TO CARE FOR THEMSELVES. MY HEART BLEEDS FOR THIS FAMILY EVEN THO I DON'T KNOW THEM

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