Posted by Terry Alexander - email
POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - Minutes before the start of her trial, a plea deal Tuesday morning for the third defendant in the death of Tahliek Taliaferro.
Stephanie Reynolds faced a charge of involuntary manslaughter, but agreed to a deal on a lesser charge. It's a very mixed reaction. Some think Reynolds earned the deal, due to her cooperation with the prosecution, but Tahliek Taliaferro's family feels justice has still not been served.
Stephanie Reynolds appeared calm and collected as she made her way into the Powhatan courthouse. Minutes later she pled guilty to being the get-away driver the night 18-year-old Tahliek Taliaferro was shot and killed. In return the commonwealth's attorney only sought a conviction on accessory after the fact, rather than involuntary manslaughter.
"There are a lot of different reasons why people do things and she told the truth like she was asked to tell," said Stephanie Reynold's attorney George Townsend.
In March Reynolds testified against Joey and Ethan Parrish. In the courtroom Tuesday the commonwealth's attorney said she was a valuable part of his case, which wouldn't have been as strong without her information. Even Joey Parrish's mother agreed with the plea deal.
"Yes she was with them but she didn't pull the gun, she didn't hurt nobody," said Cindy Parrish, Joey Parrish's mother.
But Reynolds' plea deal doesn't sit well with the Taliaferro family which is still unhappy with the Parrish cousins' involuntary manslaughter convictions.
"She was a conspirator along with them and anyway that you look at it, that's what it should have been," said Rev. Yvonne Tunstall, a Taliaferro family friend.
This group believes the commonwealth's attorney should be held accountable.
"He shouldn't be in office he shouldn't be in office," Tunstall said. "Mr. Beasly did not do his job. He should not have his job he didn't do his job at all."
Stephanie Reynolds received a 36 month suspended sentence. Joey and Ethan Parrish have their sentencing hearings set for next Thursday June 4.