Day one recap- Shaundarius Reeder murder trial

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Day one of the Shaundarius Reeder trial for first degree murder conspiracy to commit murder included jury selection, opening statement the testimony of four witnesses. Additionally, after an argument in the hallway during the first recess multiple members of the Reeder and Linear families were removed from the building and ordered not to return.

In February of 2020 WVU student, Eric Smith, 21, of New Jersey, was shot and killed following a dispute in a parking lot on campus following a night downtown.

Shaundarius Reeder

During opening statements, Mon County prosecutor Perri DeChristopher described an evening for five friends, including the murder victim Eric Smith going to bars in downtown Morgantown in two cars.

In February of 2020, the group started at The Bank and moved to 4th and Goal where the driver in the group elected to go home early while the others stayed. The member of the group with the second car agreed to take the group back to College Park Apartments then the driver would go to her apartment in Suncrest.

While at 4th and Goal a member of the group met with two acquaintances- Shaundarius Reeder and Terrell Linear who were looking for a ride home. The group agreed they would drop off the group at the College Park Apartments then they would go with the driver the Suncrest apartment and spend the night there.

Witnesses verified that during the two minute ride from downtown to the College Park Apartments, with six people crammed in the car, a minor disagreement erupted about who had the most money and the best cars. When the car arrived at College Park all occupants minus the driver exited the vehicle when a fight started between Smith, Reeder and Linear. After that scuffle Smith and two women went to apartment 103 of Building 21 at College Park.

When they got inside the group was decompressing about the altercation when they heard loud bangs on the door and walls. Smith ordered both women to the bathroom and he went to investigate the issue. Minutes later, witnesses say there were more loud bangs and then silence. When one of the women went to the door of the apartment they Smith shot in the hallway.

Meanwhile, the driver remained in the parking lot listening to the radio where she was unable to hear what was happening in the apartment. Prosecutors say about three minutes passed from the parking lot altercation to the fatal shooting.

Reeder and Linear exited the apartment and got into the backseat of the car and asked for a ride to Fairmont instead of staying in Suncrest. While telling the pair the roads were too bad to drive to Fairmont she received a phone call from the apartment telling her Smith had been shot. To keep that information from Reeder and Linear she hung up and told them she had to stop at the Walmart in Granville to use the bathroom.

While in the bathroom she returned the call to get more details. By that time police were at the apartment and had pulled surveillance video from College Park that had images of the suspects. That information was given to the Granville Police Department who identified the pair and arrested them at Walmart.

The prosecution told the jury they video evidence that Reeder had a pink 9mm pistol in his possession and ballistics confirmed three bullets from that gun were recovered from Smith during an autopsy. Prosecutors said two other bullets from a black gun seen on video were fired by Linear.

The defense countered by pointing out lab results showed gun powder residue on the front and back of both of Linear’s hands and none on Reeder. The defense told the jury Terrell Linear fired all the shots at Smith with a gun in each hand. The prosecution explained that Reeder knew he was guilty and washed his hands upon arriving at the Walmart bathroom.

However, the driver testified that both Linear and Reeder had guns when they returned to the car from apartment 103 at College Park before the change in travel plans and trip to Walmart.

Day two of testimony starts Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.