First, Larry Reed told a detective his pregnant girlfriend was twirling a .32-caliber five-shot revolver in her finger before it went off and killed her.
Then he told a detective the two had argued about the handgun, that she had told him to “get that gun out of my face” before picking it up off a couch and accidentally shooting herself, according to police reports.
Finally, Reed, then 19, admitted he had shot 24-year-old Anastasia Boyd on the morning of March 24, 2010, while unloading the gun at his residence, 2211 Anastasia Way S. in South St. Petersburg’s Lakewood Estates neighborhood.
That was the version of Reed’s story jurors apparently believed before finding him guilty of manslaughter on Thursday. Circuit Judge Michael Andrews ordered a presentence investigation ahead of sentencing Reed.
“I thank God justice was probably served,” said her father, Derrick Pollock.
“I think the attorneys did an excellent job showing the jury what possibly happened because of all the lies from the beginning.”
In her closing arguments Thursday, Assistant State Attorney Christie Ellis told jurors Reed, with a pair of boxer shorts in his hands, was trying to take two bullets out of the revolver, with its barrel pointed at Boyd and 18 to 24 inches from her chest.
That someone who knows nothing about gun safety, would do such a thing with a weapon he found on the street and knew nothing about illustrates reckless disregard for human life, Ellis said.
“I don’t care if you have almost no experience with a firearm,” said Assistant State Attorney Douglas Ellis, who’s not related to Christie, during his closing arguments. “You know inherently you don’t point it at someone.”
Assistant Public Defender Lori Mahin, one of Reed’s two defense attorneys, told jurors the shooting was an accident, regardless of whether the gun was in Reed’s hands or Boyd’s. She also reminded jurors that trying to unload a gun is lawful.
After the shooting, Reed tried to aid Boyd and was upset when he called 911 and in his interview with St. Petersburg detectives, Mahin said.
“Was this tragic? Yes. Was this sad? Yes,” Mahin said in her closing argument. “But was a crime committed? No.”
Doug Ellis argued that Reed’s frame of mind after the shooting was irrelevant. It was his level of indifference in his actions leading up to the shooting that’s important, Ellis told jurors.
By his own admission, Reed pointed the gun at Boyd as she was sitting on a couch and told her to get off the phone, prosecutors said. Twenty minutes later, he was trying to take the bullets out of the gun with the barrel pointed at her.
“It did hit him hard,” Ellis said. “It doesn’t mean he didn’t do the crime.”
Mahin, in an apparent effort to weaken the prosecution’s case, pointed out that Reed’s DNA was not on the gun and there was no gun residue on him either. Boyd had gun residue on her hands, Mahin said.
Prosecutors, though, dismissed the notion that Boyd was twirling the gun on her finger, saying it would have been physically impossible for her to have pulled the trigger if that were the case.
Boyd was four months pregnant with Reed’s child when she died. She also had two other children two daughters, now 6 and 9. The 6-year-old, Jahniah Anastasia Pollock, was adopted by Derrick Pollock and his wife, Staci Pollock, and was in court Thursday.