where the gun

Investigators Keith LeRoy, center, and Jason Myers were among the investigators at the residence on Poole Creek Road in April, along with Capt. Jason Buxton, right.

(Photo by Mark Thornton)

Felon’s case dismissed because of missing firearm

What started as a threat to shoot multiple law enforcement officers and a standoff has ended with a dismissal by the Jones County District Attorney’s Office.

That’s because a key piece of evidence was missing — the gun — in the case against Zachary Curtis Reed, 36, for possession of a firearm.

“The arresting agency does not have the firearm,” DA Tony Buckley said in a motion hearing in Jones County Circuit Court. 

Judge Dal Williamson asked who the arresting agency was, and Buckley said it was the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.

“They went and arrested him because they said he had a firearm, but they forgot to get the firearm when they took him into custody,” Buckley said. 

“I’m not going to court with Mr. Piazza on that,” he said, referring to public defender John Piazza. “You have to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.”

At least four JCSD investigators and several high-ranking members of the department responded, including Maj. Jamie Tedford in an armored vehicle, to a mobile home on Poole Creek Road where Reed was back in April. 

Reed was being investigated for a burglary, according to the department’s Facebook page, and when investigators went to talk to him, he reportedly said, “Get off the porch … I’m about to shoot through the door,” then began counting down.

Items that were stolen in the burglary were not found, but a firearm was found, and that was illegal for Reed because he is a convicted felon with an “extensive arrest record,” the JCSD’s post continued.

Reed tried to run but was quickly taken into custody and charged with possession of a firearm and simple assault on a police officer. While he was cuffed in the back of a squad car, he began rocking and making noises that sounded like a head or feet slamming into it were followed by screams of “I’m bleeding!”

He was treated on the scene then taken to the emergency room before being locked up in the Jones County Adult Detention Center. A cut above his left eye was visible in his mugshot.

Reed was facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the firearm charge.

Tedford was second-in-command to Sheriff Alex Hodge, who was defeated in his bid for a fourth term in the Republican primary in August. Joe Berlin was elected sheriff in November and took over the department this month.


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