Waterville man found guilty of murdering estranged wife

Posted Nov. 07, 2008, at 11:19 a.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:16 a.m.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A judge has returned a guilty verdict in the murder trial of a Maine man who fatally shot his estranged wife while their two children were present.

Richard Reynolds of Waterville testified in his own defense in Somerset Superior Court that the shooting was an accident. He said he intended to kill himself in his wife’s presence but that he flinched and the gun fired when he heard their two children outside the bedroom.

Prosecutors didn’t buy Reynolds’ testimony Thursday, and neither did the judge. The judge returned a guilty verdict on Friday instead of a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Reynolds, 42, was accused of shooting Rhonda Wakefield-Reynolds in the head on Jan. 12, 2007, the day she planned to file for divorce.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea said Reynolds spent 15 years in the military and knew how to use a weapon. She said the shooting was no accident.

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