The murder case against Frank Louis Reeves, accused of shooting a woman to death while in his wheelchair at a gas station, has been bound over to Bibb County Superior Court.
Reeves appeared at a commitment hearing Wednesday afternoon at the Bibb County jail. A magistrate found that there was enough evidence against him to bind over the case.
Linda Hunnicutt, the 65-year-old victim, was shot once in the chest. Reeves, 73, told authorities he thought Hunnicutt was trying to hit him with her car at the Murphy Express station on Gray Highway.
During the hearing, Macon police Sgt. Shermaine Jones fielded several questions from Reeves attorney, Veronica Brinson.
Jones said that while there were two witnesses at the scene who tried to aid Hunnicutt, there were no eyewitnesses to the actual shooting. There is video evidence, however, that shows Reeves raising his hand and Hunnicutt falling to the ground moments later.
Brinson asked if Reeves understood his rights and noted that her client has a ninth-grade education. He has also suffered multiple strokes that have affected his speech and hearing.
Jones said he explained to Reeves his Miranda rights, and Reeves indicated that he understood them. Reeves was questioned for nearly an hour without his attorney after he was arrested.
Brinson said she was interested why the charge -- initially voluntary manslaughter -- was elevated to murder. Jones said the charge was upgraded after he consulted with Bibb County District Attorney Greg Winters.
During the Dec. 4 episode in the parking lot of the gas station, Reeves was rolling through the area in his electric wheelchair, apparently on the way home to his nearby apartment after a shopping trip. There was some sort of collision between the wheelchair and Hunnicutts vehicle.
Jones said there was hardly a scratch on Reeves wheelchair, but Hunnicutts vehicle had visible damage. He declined to get into details about the nature of the damage.
Jones said Reeves told him that during an ensuing argument, Reeves said he intended to fire his gun in the air to scare Hunnicutt, but ended up shooting her once in the chest instead.
After Wednesdays hearing, Brinson told reporters that Reeves never intended to harm Hunnicutt.
Hes very remorseful anyones dead from this incident, she said. He doesnt have a record. Its very shaking to him. He wished that day had never occurred.
Brinson said she intends to ask for a reasonable bond because Reeves is ill-suited for the Bibb County jail, given his health issues.
She also said she wants the evidence from Reeves interview with police to be suppressed because she wasnt present, and she doesnt think a murder charge is appropriate.
I still contend that it wasnt murder, she said. There was no intent of malice.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.