Cecil officer charged in 2 killings


A police officer from Cecil County was charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of his wife and a man at an after-hours club in Baltimore early yesterday.

Accused in the double slaying is Joseph Eli Reynolds, 44, a retired Baltimore police officer who has been a lawman in the town of North East for the past two years.

Police said Officer Reynolds and his wife, Melanie Martha Reynolds, of Port Deposit were in the Ham-o-lea Pleasure Club in the 4300 block of Harford Road with several other people when the gunfire erupted about 3:20 a.m.

According to the police account, John Francis Myers, 39, was shot in the head as he was walking out of a restroom. Mrs. Reynolds was shot in the head after Officer Reynolds walked over to her and said something, police said.

"He believed there was something between the two," said city homicide Detective Darryl Massey. But the detective added that the investigation revealed "nothing to indicate a relationship" between Mrs. Reynolds and Mr. Myers, and he did not know if the Reynoldses were experiencing marital difficulties.

Police said Mr. Myers of the 2800 block of Bayonne Ave. in Baltimore was kept awhile on life support systems before he was pronounced dead yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Officer Reynolds left the club after the shootings. He was arrested at 5 a.m. at his mother's house in the 3500 block of Chesterfield Ave., near the after-hours social club, police said.

He was charged with first-degree murder and related handgun offenses.

Lawyer Henry L. Belsky, representing Officer Reynolds, said he has asked the police to watch the suspect closely. "I've been assured he will bewatched for suicide," Mr. Belsky said. "It is an emotionally delicate situation."

Baltimore police spokesman Sam Ringgold said the .38-caliber handgun used in the shootings was not Officer Reynolds' service revolver.

"He was a city officer with over 20 years of service," Mr. Ringgold said.

Officer Reynolds joined the North East force two years ago, according to a statement by the small department's Chief Darrell W. Hamilton.

"He performed his duty in an exemplary manner. The North East Police Department is shocked and saddened by this tragedy," Chief Hamilton said.

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