Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 30, 2013

Reasby given guilty verdict

Bluefield man found guilty of voluntary manslaughter

PRINCETON — After deliberating about six and one-half hours, a Mercer County jury found David Reasby, 35, of Bluefield guilty of voluntary manslaughter, but not guilty of conspiracy of charges related to the Aug. 20, 2012 death of Derek Tabor, 22, of Montcalm.

The jury received the case at about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, deliberated for about three hours and 45 minutes before leaving at 8:15 p.m. The jury resumed deliberations at 9 a.m., Thursday morning, took two smoke breaks, knocked on the door of the jury room at 11:43 a.m., and informed the court bailiff they had reached a verdict.

Several people had gathered in the court gallery to hear the verdict. Mercer County Circuit Court Judge William Sadler told the spectators: “The court will not tolerate any outbursts of show of emotion,” he said. “Anyone who doesn’t abide will be escorted out of the courtroom.”

There was no outburst when the jury read its verdict. The jury found Reasby guilty of voluntary manslaughter, a lesser included charge in the initial charge of first degree murder. On the second count of conspiracy, the jury found the defendant not guilty.

Sadler thanked the jury, and both the defense counsel, David White as well as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, George Sitler, thanked the jurors for their work.

“The jury took the law very seriously to arrive at the verdict,” Sitler said. “If they did not find the defendant guilty of first degree murder, they could not find him guilty of the conspiracy count. Based on the evidence presented in the trial, I think the jury arrived at a reasonable verdict.”

After Sadler dismissed the jurors, White made post trial motions in open court. Sadler said he would consider the post trial motions and render his rulings on Oct. 28, at 11 a.m. He added that if he finds for the state, the defendant’s sentencing will go forward.

Sitler said that on the sole count of conviction, Reasby faces a 3 to 1-year prison determinate sentence. “He could make parole in less than three years,” he said.

Tabor was shot outside a residence on Fourth Street in Bluefield on Aug. 20. A friend transported him to the Bluefield Police Department where he was then transported by Bluefield Rescue Squad personnel to Bluefield Regional Medical Center where he died.

Reasby and another man, Mitchell Antonio Watts, 41, of North Carolina were both arrested on first degree murder charges, while local, state and federal law enforcement officers sought a third man in connection with Tabor’s death.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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