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Attorney said shooting was a 'drug deal gone wrong'

By Robin Y. Richardson
Sept. 25, 2012 at 2:29 a.m.

A drug deal gone wrong is how defense attorney Rick Hagan described the incident leading to the death of Carrol Gene Reeves, allegedly killed nearly two years ago by Hagan's client, Colin Christopher Rider.

Rider, whose murder trial began on Monday, entered a plea of not guilty to the alleged crime, claiming self defense.

However, prosecutors argued that Reeves was the one defending himself from Rider, who allegedly was at Reeves' home earlier on Oct. 16, 2010, doing drugs, and had come back to the home later that day after running out of money.

"We can't agree on all the evidence, but I think me and Mr. (Coke) Solomon agree that this was, sadly, a drug deal that went bad," defense attorney Rick Hagan told jurors during opening arguments.

Harrison County District Attorney Coke Solomon told them Rider was at Reeves' home earlier that day with his girlfriend, doing what his girlfriend perceived to be drugs with Reeves.

Solomon noted that according to the toxicology report, there weren't any drugs in Reeves' system at the time of death.

Hagan said although there weren't any drugs in his system at the time of death, additional reports showed traces of meth in his body.

"I think Mr. Reeves wanted more meth," Hagan told jurors in opening arguments.

Solomon said testimony will show Reeves gave Rider an amp and generator to sell.

"We don't know exactly what that's for. It may be to go get some drugs," he said.

He said Rider agreed to take the amp and money from Reeves. Solomon said after riding around for a while, Rider and his girlfriend stopped at a gas station pumping $70 in gas - more than what they had. With only $10 in cash, the attendant allowed Rider to leave to get more money to pay his bill.

"They came back to Carrol Reeves' house," said Solomon.

Solomon said when Rider didn't see Reeves' car or get a response at the front door, he allegedly entered the home, kicking down the back door.

"As he goes in, it turns out Mr. Reeves is home," said Solomon. "Then, something happened. They ultimately end up in a struggle. Mr. Reeves gets a gun to defend himself against a home invader."

Solomon said the gun ended up going off.

"Mr. Rider gets shot in the foot," he said.

He said the victim, Reeves, is then shot in the leg and in the back twice at close range.

"While he's possibly trying to get him out to defend himself, Mr. Rider who now has the gun, leaves out the front door," said Solomon.

He said when Rider went back to his car, he allegedly told his girlfriend that he shot himself in the foot. Instead of going to the hospital, Solomon said Rider opted to go to a friend's house for help.

While at the friend's house, he passed out and an ambulance was called.

In the meantime, Solomon said Susan Robinson, a friend that had been living with Reeves for about a month and a half, returned home to find Reeves dead.

Solomon said as Ms. Robinson and a friend called 9-1-1, police received another call from a person, claiming to have shot himself in the foot. After reviewing the scene and the reports, an investigator visited Rider at the hospital. After being released from the hospital, Rider was interviewed at the sheriff's office where Solomon said he gave conflicting stories of the incident.

"You're going to hear Mr. Rider change his story over and over and over," said Solomon.

"He's going to go so far as to say, 'We got to fighting for the gun… he shot me out of anger, and then I turned the gun on him to defend myself and he shot himself two or three times," Solomon said Rider told police.

In another interview, Rider allegedly admits to shooting Reeves.

"Ultimately he's going to admit, 'Yeah, I might have shot him in the back to keep him from getting up,'" Solomon said.

Hagan said evidence will show that Reeves wanted to buy some meth, and gave items to Rider to sell for more meth. He said when Rider returned to the house after receiving a text from Reeves.

When Rider came inside, Hagan said Reeves allegedly asked for meth. He said as Reeves leaves the room to get money, the next thing Rider hears is a gun cocking.

"Mr. Reeves attempts to assault Mr. Rider," said Hagan. "They both get shot in the leg.

Hagan argued that in the middle of a gunfight, one doesn't worry about where the gun is aiming.

"You're trying to save your life," said Hagan.

"You have to look at what was going on from the perspective of Colin Rider," he said. "He struggled with a man who has got a loaded gun. I think you're going to find he did what he had to do to stay alive.

Hagan said the case is a matter of self defense.

"It's not something Colin Rider wanted to do - it's not something he intended to do. It was something he had to do to save his life,"

The trial continues this morning in the 71st District Courtroom.

Colin Rider wanted to do - it's not something he intended to do. It was something he had to do to save his life,"

The trial continues this morning in the 71st District Courtroom.



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