Reed’s Attorney Wants Charges Dropped
The attorney for a woman arrested in her son’s death wants the charges against his client dismissed, claiming authorities “reneged” on their pledge to exonerate her if she passed a lie detector test.
Robin Reed, 20, of Wheeling faces charges of child neglect resulting in death and death of a child by parent stemming from her 1-year-old son’s January 2011 death.
In a motion filed before Ohio County Circuit Judge James Mazzone during docket day proceedings Thursday, defense attorney Don Tennant Jr. asserted Wheeling Police Detective Greg Harris was acting on behalf of the state when Harris told Reed that passing a polygraph exam would “clear” her. Reed submitted to that exam in April after allegedly providing Harris conflicting accounts of the events leading up to her son’s death.
In February, Reed reportedly told Harris she was home with the boy all night prior to the day he died. She said she woke the next day at 5:30 a.m. to feed the child and change his diaper before going back to bed. When Reed woke again a few hours later, she said, she found her son unresponsive and attempted to perform CPR before calling emergency personnel.
However, Reed reportedly contacted Harris in April and admitted she lied during her first interview.
In a second interview, Reed said the child was asleep at home with his grandmother before she left at 10 p.m. the night before the boy died. She said she returned to the home at 2 a.m. and did not wake at 5:30 a.m. to feed her son, but found the boy unresponsive after waking at 9 a.m.
Despite the change in stories, during both interviews Reed continually denied inflicting accidental or intentional trauma to her son’s head.
Police received an autopsy report in July, however, stating Reed’s son died as the result of an abusive closed-head injury. The report further states the manner of death to be homicide.
“But I would really like you to come in and (take a polygraph). That way, if you’re telling the truth now, this will clear you. No problems. All right,” Harris told Reed in April, according to the motion filed by Tennant.
Reed submitted to the exam, responding “No” both times when asked if she physically caused her son’s injuries. The motion states the examining polygrapher determined Reed’s responses to the questions to be “not deceptive.”
“After the polygraph examination results were known to Detective Greg Harris, he and the state of West Virginia reneged on its agreement that defendant Robin Reed would be ‘cleared’ of all charges involving the death of her son and nevertheless sought an indictment against her on September 12, 2011,” the motion further states.
Thursday Tennant told Mazzone an evidentiary would be necessary to determine if Harris was acting on behalf of the Ohio County prosecutor’s office. Harris, and possibly Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith, would be cross-examined during that hearing, he continued. Mazzone has yet to set a date for the hearing.
Reed will remain lodged in the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville until her April 16 trial. If convicted, she faces a prison sentence of 13-55 years.