A Park Manor man has been charged with the 2013 murder of a 19-year-old woman who was shot to death while she was traveling in a car with her friends in the South Side neighborhood.
But Cook County Judge Charles Beach Thursday described prosecutors’ key evidence against Reginald Reed — a witness identification four years after the June 25, 2013, shooting — as “weak.”
Reed, now 43, was never taken into custody following Marissa Boyd-Stingley’s killing after another witness who had been with Boyd-Stingley “tentatively” identified Reed in a photo array, saying he “looks like” the shooter.
Prosecutors didn’t provide additional details Thursday about why it took over seven years to charge Reed.
They said Boyd-Stingley’s mother, who had heard that her daughter’s killer was “cockeyed,” had told detectives she knew of a man in the neighborhood nicknamed “Rico” with that distinguishing facial feature.
Detectives then ran a search on people nicknamed “Rico” in the area, and learned that Reed went by the nickname. Reed’s left eyeball also is permanently positioned to the outer corner of that eye, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said that before Reed fired into the car at 73rd Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, one of the passengers traveling with Boyd-Stingley, noticed he had a “distinct, misaligned eye.” The passenger went on to call Reed “cockeyed” and made a comment, along the lines of “right, with your cock-eye ass,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Moments before at 2:30 a.m. that morning, Reed pulled up in his SUV and stared inside the other car, prompting one of Boyd-Stingley’s friends to ask Reed if he knew someone inside, Murphy said.
Reed then started firing into the car, striking all four occupants, including Boyd-Stingley, who was pronounced dead at the scene, Murphy said.
Except for the one witness who looked at the photo array, none of the other surviving victims could be located after the shooting, prosecutors said.
The gun used to kill Boyd-Stingley was recovered just a few weeks later when it was taken from a man in a separate matter. But detectives didn’t learn it was the gun used in Boyd-Stingley’s murder until 2016, prosecutors said.
By that point, the man charged with possessing the weapon was on parole and refused to tell authorities who gave it to him, prosecutors said.
Then in 2017, a woman who was with Boyd-Stingley in the car was contacted by detectives. She identified Reed as the shooter in a line-up, prosecutors said.
Reed, who has no criminal background and has lived with his mother for most of his life, “strenuously” denies the allegations against him, an assistant public defender said.
“I don’t know how many people on the South Side of Chicago are cockeyed, but it does not seem to be much of a description here,” the defense attorney said.
Beach agreed and noted the amount of time that had passed since the murder and the 2017 witness identification.
But he also pointed the seriousness of the murder and attempted murder charges and said bail was necessary to ensure Reed shows up for subsequent hearings before his trial.
The judge set Reed’s bail at $150,000 and recommended he be placed on electronic monitoring if he is released on bail.