NEW MADRID - Five persons are charged in connection with a fatal assault at the New Madrid County Jail.
New Madrid County Prosecuting Attorney Lewis Recker has filed second degree murder and first degree assault charges against Joshua Darter, Maurice Ely, Henry Lewis Hill, Pedro S. Rivera and Trevor J. Hatton, who were prisoners in the New Madrid County Jail on June 5 with John Wayne Reynolds.
According to a probable cause statement charging the five with second degree murder, Reynolds was in the day room of the cell when he was approached by the five men.
"The other inmates were accusing Mr. Reynolds of being an informant because his name was written on the jail cell wall saying he was a 'snitch,'" said the investigating officer in the statement.
Witnesses told the officer a blanket was put over Reynolds' head and the others began to punch him. Later Reynolds told the other inmates he did not deserve it, according to the probable cause statement.
Described as having a large bruise on his forehead, the witnesses said Reynolds was sitting on the edge of his bunk when he began "wobbling" then slumped onto the floor and was unresponsive.
Reynolds was taken by ambulance to Missouri Delta Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy conducted June 6 determined Reynolds died from a lacerated spleen that was caused by blunt force trauma, the investigator wrote.
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