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Helmsburg murder
Teen gets 60 yrs. in Brown Co. slaying
Published on: 08.25.09

 NASHVILLE — A Brown County teenager received a 60-year prison sentence Monday for murdering an 84-year-old man and aggravated battery of the man’s wife.

Brown County Circuit Court Judge Judith Stewart sentenced Bennie Reed, 17, to 50 years for the Nov. 15 murder of Richard “Dude” Voland and 10 years for aggravated battery of Mary Voland.

Stewart ordered that the sentences be served consecutively, that Reed receive 229 days credit for time served and that he pay $11,329.15 restitution to Mary Voland.

“We think the sentences the court imposed were appropriate under all circumstances,” Brown County Prosecutor Jim Oliver said.

Having the sentences served consecutively was important, Oliver said, so that Reed paid the consequences for each crime, and they were not treated as one.

“Mary Voland posed no threat to them whatsoever and he still continued the attack on her,” Oliver said.

A message left for Reed’s attorney, Andrew Szakaly, was not returned.

Reed pleaded guilty July 29 to the murder and battery charges as part of a plea agreement in which Oliver dropped nine additional charges. Reed faced 45 to 85 years in prison for the murder and aggravated battery charges.

With credit for time already served, good credit time and the possibility of earning additional credit for educational degrees, Oliver said the least amount of time Reed could serve would be 28 to 29 years.

Robbery turns deadly

Reed and his 13-year-old brother Blade Reed invaded the Voland home in Helmsburg during the early hours of Nov. 15 and tried to steal beer.

Bennie Reed knocked on the door, which Richard Voland answered, and asked to use the phone. After doing so, Reed pulled out a .25-caliber handgun as he left the house.

Voland also drew a handgun, which Bennie Reed tried to knock from his hand, causing the gun to fire and hit Reed in the arm.

Reed fired a shot in return, which struck Voland in the head, killing him.

Mary Voland, 77, came out of the bedroom and attempted to treat her husband and Reed’s wounds. Bennie Reed fired Richard Voland’s handgun at Mary, which hit her in the torso and caused internal and external bleeding and created a substantial risk of death.

Blade Reed allegedly cut Mary Voland’s neck with a butcher knife.

Blade Reed has been charged as an adult with murder and robbery in the case. His adult trial is set for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 30. The remaining charges of battery, burglary and theft will be adjudicated in juvenile court starting 9 a.m. Oct. 7.

Factors considered

Oliver called three witnesses: Joyce Baushke, the Volands’ daughter; Mary Voland; and Tony Scisco, jail commander at Brown County Jail.

Baushke said she missed her father and his murder was a senseless crime.

Mary Voland talked about a trip to Alaska with her husband and hunting and fishing with him, and about how she now retreats to her home and closes the blinds.

Scisco testified about two things discovered in Reed’s jail cell:

A drawing with lyrics from a Marilyn Manson song that said, “Murder cute, murder cute, happy, happy rape.”

A list of proverbs about wickedness.

“I attempted to show he was not remorseful,” Oliver said.

Oliver argued that aggravating factors in the case were the victims’ ages and that Bennie Reed committed the crimes in the presence of a child under age 18.

Szakaly, the defense attorney, offered as a mitigating factor psychological reports that stated Reed had been a victim of mental and physical abuse as a child.

He also said Reed did not intend to harm anyone when he entered the Voland home, that he had no history of violent crime, and that he expressed remorse.

Reed made a formal statement to the court in which he expressed sorrow that the crime occurred and that he would take it back if he could.

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Lillian (Anderson) Wentworth Henderson, 87, Brown County

William Emmett Fisher, 73, Elizabethtown
  Father of William “Mark” (Marissa) Fisher of Nashville

Margaret (Stanley) Whitaker, 80, Morgantown
  Wife of Rawlins Whitaker of Morgantown

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