HAMMOND, La. (WGNO) — A 40-year-old case is officially closed after a life sentence was handed down to the person a Tangipahoa Parish court determined to be responsible.
On Monday (Jan. 30), Reginald L. Reed was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Selonia S. Reed in 1987. The case began after Reginald’s arrest in June 2019.
Court records reported on Aug. 23, 1987, 26-year-old Selonia Reed’s body was found in the passenger seat of her blue 1986 Chevrolet Sprint located in an empty lot in Hammond. It was determined she suffered from blunt force trauma to her face, and upper body, numerous stab wounds, and had been sexually violated with an umbrella.
Officials said there were no defense injuries and ruled her cause of death as a homicide.
Reginald Reed, her husband, became a prime suspect in the case but denied any wrongdoing and face no charges. 24 years later in 2011, Louisiana State Police reopened the case and with witness testimony and DNA evidence, deputies determined Jimmy Barnes was hired to murder Reed.
Three years later, authorities interviewed a previous lead along with Barnes who lived in Atlanta and after a confession, Barnes pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder and was sentenced to five years.
He was released early after testifying in court.
A conviction was secured for Reed and in 2019 he was arrested and found guilty of the murder in 2022 being sentenced to life in 2023.
“Thirty-five years is a long time for justice. Thanks to the Hammond Police Department and Barry Ward, we were able to successfully close this case for Selonia Reed, her family, and the community,” District Attorney Scott M. Perrilloux stated.