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Records show Decatur murder suspect killed a man with a shotgun in Mobile, Ala. 30 years ago

Crime and public safety Decatur slideshow

Records show Decatur murder suspect killed a man with a shotgun in Mobile, Ala. 30 years ago

Simmie Rischard Reed. Photo provided by Decatur Police
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Simmie Rischard Reed. Photo provided by Decatur Police

This story has been updated. 

New details are emerging about a man accused of shooting up a car at a Decatur intersection on June 20 and fatally injuring a teenage girl.

Decatur Police announced the arrest of Simmie Rischard Reed, 50, on June 23. He faces one count of murder, two counts of aggravated assault with intent to murder, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is accused of killing Janae Owens, 17 at the intersection of South Candler Street and Midway Road. Another passenger in the car, the girls’ mother, went to the hospital and a third passenger, reportedly her twin sister, was unharmed.

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When Joseph Lamar Carter’s sister, Anna, saw Reed’s picture after it had been sent to her by friends, she immediately recognized him as the man who killed her brother in Mobile, Ala. in 1988.

“It’s the same guy,” she said. “I seen him.”

Decaturish reviewed court records involving a man named Simmie Rischard Reed who matches the description of the Decatur suspect. In the court records, his birth year is listed alternately as 1967 or 1969. Decatur Police say he was born in 1967 and the Joseph Lamar Carter’s sister confirmed that the Decatur suspect is the same man who was convicted of killing her brother. The information was also confirmed in a copy of the arrest warrant Decaturish obtained on June 25.

The jury convicted him of manslaughter – they were asked to consider murder, but records show the jury opted for a lesser charge – and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was routinely denied parole, records show. Anna Carter said the family made sure of that and to the best of her knowledge he served the full length of his term and was released in 2008.

Carter said Reed killed her brother in a dispute over a woman. Reed walked up to her brother while he was in his car and shot him in the head with a shotgun, she said.

Carter is outraged that Reed left prison and is now accused of killing someone else.

“He should’ve never got out of jail for murdering somebody,” she said. “They need to stop letting these murderers out of jail. Now he’s done killed a 17-year-old child. It’s just terrible.”

At the time he was charged with Joseph Carter’s murder, Reed also faced a charge of rape unrelated to the murder. The case never went forward because the victim did not want to go through the stress of a trial, court records show.

Anna Carter said the rape charge is what led police to her brother’s killer.

“He needs to stay in jail,” she said. “He needs to rot in there. He should’ve never gotten out of jail. Now a 17-year-old is dead.”

The motive for the June 20 shooting is not known. While media outlets around the nation have stuck to the “road rage” narrative, police have pointedly declined to confirm that it was a road rage incident and said the motive remains under investigation.

Craig Lee, an uncle of the victims, said he is not convinced that it was a case of road rage. The twins hailed from Shreveport, La. and violence is an ongoing problem in the community there, Lee said. He noted that his nieces had a friend who was murdered in a similar way last year. The twins had moved to Atlanta about five weeks ago and owned a photography business, Shotsbytwins.

“You have a lot of situations that happen for whatever reason,” Lee said of the violence in his community. “You’re dealing with seriously bankrupt people.”

Court records show Reed had recently been in trouble in DeKalb County prior to the June 20 incident. He is accused of committing an aggravated assault in March.

He is expected to appear in magistrate court at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, June 25.

The Anniston Star in Anniston, Ala. contributed to this story. 

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