David Andrew Charles Reid
20 Years Old

November 26, 1964 to November 15, 1985

David Andrew Charles Reid loved life. His dreams led him into writing poetry and prose/religious and non-religious, composing and performing music on the piano, organ, and guitar (acoustic and electrical). Visual Art (all expressions) and acting.

David began to write as he walked along delivering papers as a 9 year old child. His earliest acting was in 7th grade when he performed as John Randolph, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. In the 8th grade, he played an impromptu piano rendition of the "Star Wars Theme" to the roars, clapping and the stomping of parents and students in a full gymnasium.

David carried these creative gifts into college where he majored in Commercial Art and Advertising, completing all but his final semester before being murdered. He was to begin his career in May, 1986 as a Computer Graphic Artist. On an easel in our youngest child's apartment sits a cherished unfinished portrait of her which David had been painting. A post humus Senior Art show was held in David's memory.

In 1984, David performed as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart into standing ovations. Tom Hulce's performance in the film version of "Amadeus" is reminiscent of David's delightful and insightful portrayal. David was known as the "music man" of Athens, WV. For several years as a teenager, he led the music in the community's Vocation Bible School. He taught original songs which he composed in 15 minutes or less. David was a fan of "heavy metal music" and used it often in songs that he wrote. When confronted with the loudness and harshness of it from a parent's point of view, David's response was, "If I'm to share my faith with others, I need to speak their language." The subject was laid to rest.

Six months after David's death, his last gift was found. He had taped the music to many of his songs. At this writing, one of David's cousins is working on getting some of his music into publishable form. Someday, your child may sing, "A Dozen Disciples," "The Mustard Seed," "Come Into His Kingdom Like a Child," "You Gotta Seek First the Kingdom of God," or "Fishing for Fishermen." David never knew a stranger. After his death, "friends" wrote, phoned or come to us with stories about David's relationship with them. Our family was fortunate in being able to celebrate evening meals together. We lingered after eating, discussing the day's events, our interests, and issues of the day by making up puns. One evening after sharing puns about vision, David quipped, "Enough of this ocular jocularity." According to the medical examiner, David sustained such severe brain trauma that he was unaware of his last moments here on earth. However, friends reported that his last words were, "I love my parents."

His art work graces the walls of our home. His music resides in our memories. David is at home with God among the "treasures he laid up in heaven."

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

On November 15, 1985, one year from the date on which he was nearly strangled to death by Mark Stewart Newman, David Andrew Charles Reid, age 20, was shot once in the back and then at close range 3 times in the left temple after having fallen to the ground from the initial fatal wound.

David had befriended Mark in 1983. Mark developed possessive, obsessive attraction to David and the friendship ended. During the year between November 1984-85, despite a court order to stay away from the entire Reid family, Mark stalked David. There was no recourse because the West Virginia Stalkers law had not yet been enacted.

Mark was taken into custody within hours of the shooting and charged with first degree murder. At the first trial, the defense called only 3 prosecution witnesses. Mark was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life with mercy. Due to reversible error, the conviction was overturned. At the second trial, Mark took the stand and pleaded self-defense. His final statement was, "I killed David Reid because I hated him." As a point of law the initial sentence had to stand.

Closed parole hearings were held in 1995-96. A 1997 change in West Virginia law guaranteed open hearings. Hearings were waived in 1997-98. In February, 1999, parole was denied for the third time due to the heinousness of the crime and public sentiment. The next parole hearing is February, 2000.

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David Reid