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October 19, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Ex-trooper Ronda Reynold’s death ruled homicide

Ronda Reynolds (Seattle Times' archives)

By The (Centralia) Chronicle and The Associated Press

 Ronda Reynolds was killed. The five members of a Lewis County coroner’s inquest panel have concluded that the 33-year-old former state trooper did not die as the result of suicide on a December night in 1998.

The jury named Ron Reynolds, her husband, and Jonathan Reynolds, her stepson, as suspects.

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said he’ll issue arrest warrants within 24 hours for the two men. They were not immediately reachable by telephone for comment.

Ron Reynolds and his sons refused to testify at the inquest, citing their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

There was an audible gasp in the courtroom when Coroner Warren McLeod read the verdict. Reynolds’ mother, Barb Thompson, hugged firearms expert Marty Hayes, her attorney, and other supporters.

About a dozen people have been in the public seating area for the seven days of testimony in the controversial case.

Best-selling true crime author Ann Rule, who vaulted the case into the national spotlight with her book “In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother’s Unceasing Quest for the Truth,” was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read, although she has attended much of the trial in the Lewis County Law and Justice Center in Chehalis.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: homicide

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