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October 28, 2011 at 4:29 PM

2 men arrested, released in ex-trooper’s death

 

Ron and Jonathan Reynolds enter a Lewis County Superior Court room Friday morning after turning themselves in

Ron and Jonathan Reynolds enter court after turning themselves in. (The Centralia Chronicle)

The husband and stepson of Washington State Patrol trooper Ronda Reynolds were arrested on Friday in connection with her 1998 shooting death — and then immediately freed.

Ron and Jonathan Reynolds appeared before a Lewis County Superior Court judge after the county coroner decided early Friday that he was required to reissue arrest warrants resulting from a death inquest, according to KING-TV.

But because the Lewis County prosecutor declined to file charges against the men, Judge James Lawlor immediately released them.

The inquest was called to investigate the 33-year-old woman’s death. The case has become a legal and political mess in Lewis County; her cause of death has been officially changed multiple times as the elected coroner and sheriff battled efforts by Reynolds’ mother to have the death ruled a homicide, rather than a suicide.

Ron Reynolds, 60, a Toledo elementary-school principal, and his son, Jonathan, 30, were named suspects by an inquest jury earlier this month. Coroner Warren McLeod said he was compelled by state law to issue warrants, then decided to quash the warrants on Thursday after the county prosecutor declined to press charges. McLeod changed his mind again Friday morning, issuing the warrants.

Ron and Jonathan Reynolds did not speak with reporters as they left court. Ron Reynolds has invoked the Fifth Amendment and declined to testify in two separate court proceedings related to his late wife’s death.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: homicide, shooting

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