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Springfield man charged with murder after three found dead

Monday, October 12, 2009 | 10:51 a.m. CDT

LEBANON — A southwest Missouri man was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, and investigators believe the homicide is connected to the slayings of her father and stepmother.

Josh Reyes, 23, of Springfield was being held without bond Sunday, said Laclede County jailer Tracy Lawson. Reyes was charged Saturday with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree burglary in the death of Zachary Bryan Porter, 25, of Elkland.

Lawson said he didn't know whether Reyes had an attorney.

Springfield's ABC affiliate KSPR reported Reyes's ex-girlfriend and their two children watched as Porter was gunned down at a Lebanon apartment after midnight Saturday. Porter was pronounced dead early Saturday at a hospital.

Laclede County Sheriff Richard Wrinkle said the woman called her family but was unable to reach them, so she called other relatives who went to her father's Laclede County home.

Inside were the bodies of Jeffery L. Smith, 51, and his wife, Glenda Smith, 48. Reyes has not been charged in those deaths, but authorities believe all three were connected.

Jeffery Smith's brother, Randy Smith, said he received the panicked call from his niece shortly after midnight Saturday.

"She was having a crisis and couldn't get ahold of her dad," Smith told the Springfield News-Leader, adding that she didn't offer many details.

His son was the one who made the grizzly discovery in the living room of the couple's home.

Smith was struggling to understand the killings.

"You could count on him for anything," Smith said of his brother. "He was quiet, kept to himself and didn't bother anybody."

Smith said he didn't know the suspect well. He said Reyes and his niece had two children together, ages 2 and 3.


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