State v. Reynolds
POTENTIAL PENALTY: Life in prison
VENUE: Butler County, Hamilton, Ohio
ALLEGATION: 16-year-old black juvenile (tried as adult) repeatedly beat and kicked a 17-year-old white juvenile to death as he lay motionless on the ground. Defendant attacked victim because victim hurled racial epithets toward him. Defendant fled the scene and initially lied to the police about his involvement in the beating. (Unfortunately, race can be an issue that unduly influences the outcome of a criminal case. The race of the defendant and the victim in this case was included to demonstrate that Mr. Bennett has experience successfully neutralizing the issue of race.)
DISPOSITION: Trial by jury. Because race was an issue in the case and Butler County juries are all white or primarily white, Mr. Bennett challenged Butler County's jury selection process. Prior to trial the challenge was withdrawn because Mr. Bennett found the jury selection process and pool to be in compliance with the law.
RESULT: Not guilty of murder. Mr. Reynolds was only found guilty of the less serious form of involuntary manslaughter, a 3rd degree felony punishable from 1 to 5 years in prison). He was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
Judge admits teen's statements in murder trial (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Fairfield beating death case begins (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Teen guilty in beating death, but not murder (Cincinnati Enquirer Metro)
Jury convicts teen (Cincinnati Enquirer)