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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