Arkansas man sentenced to death for killing wife, daughter

March 7, 2018

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — A jury in west-central Arkansas has sentenced a man to death by lethal injection for the 2015 shooting deaths of his wife and daughter.

Eric Allen Reid, 57, was sentenced Tuesday in Garland County District Court. The decision came after Reid was convicted Friday on two counts of capital murder in the October 2015 deaths of his wife Laura Reid, 57, and older daughter Mary Ann Reid, 32, the Sentinel-Record reported .

The presiding judge told jurors they had to weight the aggravating factors against the mitigating factors to decide if Reid should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

Aggravating factors were the state’s argument that Reid knowingly killed more than one person and caused great risk of death to younger daughter Heather Reid, 20, who was struck in the arm by a bullet.

“If they had died at the hands of a stranger it would have been easier to deal with. I don’t understand why my father did this to us,” Heather Reid said. “There are so many scenarios where we didn’t have to lose so much. It didn’t have to happen this way.”

Mitigating factors included the defense argument that Eric Reid was under extreme mental or emotional distress at the time, lacked the ability to understand his actions and has taken courses to improve while in jail.

But Reid was not mentally disturbed, “he was just mad,” and that the distress cited by the defense such as financial problems and child rearing “are the same things all couples fight over,” according to prosecutor Joe Graham.

Reid said he takes “full ownership” of the charges against him.

“I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what could have driven me to do what I did, but I’ve always accepted ownership of it,” he said.

Reid’s death sentence is the second one to be handed down by a state court in Garland County since the 1950s, after the 2015 sentencing of Randy William Gay for the shooting death of a local woman.


Information from: The Sentinel-Record, http://www.hotsr.com

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