BROOKS, Maine — A local man who was acquitted seven years ago in one of Waldo County’s most notorious murder trials was arrested this week on a charge of domestic violence terrorizing.
On Monday night, police dispatchers received a 911 call saying there was a domestic argument at 61-year-old Jerome Reynolds Jr.’s home on the Purple Heart Highway in Brooks, according to Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.
While deputies were en route to the home, the dispatcher called to check on the woman involved.
“The dispatcher heard him say that if the cops showed up, he’d kill them,” Trafton said.
While police never dismiss such threats, it holds greater weight coming from Reynolds, the deputy said.
“This gentleman, we all remember when he did kill somebody,” Trafton said.
In 2005, a jury found Reynolds Jr. not guilty of murder in the shotgun slaying of his elderly father’s girlfriend the previous year.
Reynolds shot Janet Bacon, 60, in the face after she forced her way into his home. Bacon was wearing a nightgown and slippers when she went to the home to find Jerome Reynolds Sr.
The elder couple had argued earlier that day over the fact that he had played cards with a group of women at the local senior center.
Reynolds Jr. freely admitted to shooting the woman but claimed he was frightened of her and feared for the safety of his father.
Almost four years after the acquittal, however, a different judge ruled against Reynold’s Jr. in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bacon’s son Linwood Walker, the personal representative of her estate. The judge in that case stated the Brooks man had acted with “implied malice” when he shot Bacon, and Reynolds was assessed punitive damages of $50,000 and compensatory damages of $308,108.50.
On Monday night, responding officers met with the woman who called 911 and were told that she is “terrified” of Reynolds Jr.
“He was telling her that if she called the cops, he would kill the cops. He was doing that to intimidate her, because she knew he’d done it,” Trafton said. “It placed her in terrible fear. He was using the threat of killing any cop she called as a threat to control her.”
Reynolds was taken to Waldo County Jail in Belfast, where he was booked. He has since been released on $10,000 surety bail, according to a jail official.