Georgia Pastor Murders Deacon for Deacon’s Wife

October 15, 2008 at 5:15 am 1 comment

richard-scott-harper.jpgA Northwest Georgia pastor who was part of a love triangle on Wednesday pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his lover’s husband.

Richard Scott Harper, 37, made a deal with prosecutors that allows Harper and co-defendant Michelle Reynolds, 39, to avoid the death penalty.

Reynolds’ husband, Thad Reynolds, was found stabbed multiple times in July 2004 outside a Frito-Lay distribution plant where he was a manager.

Harper and Thad Reynolds were good friends, police said. Thad and Michelle Reynolds attended Hollywood Baptist Church, where Harper was the family pastor and Thad Reynolds was a marriage counselor and deacon.

Harper made a statement Wednesday to Floyd County District Attorney Leigh Patterson, agreeing to testify against Michelle Reynolds in court, Patterson said.

“It’s an opportunity for me to get evidence against the other defendant,” Patterson said.

Harper plead guilty to two counts of murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. As part of his plea negotiation, Harper asked that the death penalty be removed as an option for himself and for Reynolds, Patterson said.

Neither Harper’s nor Reynolds’ attorneys could be reached by phone Wednesday night for comment.

Patterson said if Harper testifies in accordance with his Wednesday statement, “we agree to recommend life in prison without parole for him” and for Reynolds.

“We’ve met with the victim’s family, and they’re very supportive,” Patterson said.

Patterson would not release the details of Harper’s statement, saying the information would be held until Reynolds went to court.

Floyd County police discovered Harper’s and Michelle Reynolds’ romantic relationship in learning that the pair had conspired to kill Thad Reynolds.

The victim and his wife had four children — ages 12, 6, 4 and 1 at the time of Michelle Reynolds’ arrest — who were taken care of by family and church members.

It is uncertain when Reynolds will have her day in court.

Source: AJC

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