Defendant draws judge’s ire

Published 10:28 am Thursday, April 7, 2016

A woman who said her ex-husband damaged her car and assaulted her drew the ire of Judge Mary F. Paul in Davie District Court March 24.

Samantha Reed continuously gave lengthy answers to questions that could have been answered with one word. Paul reminded her several times to simply answer yes or no, but when Reed once more offered a seemingly incessant answer to a question, Paul yelled at her to quit talking.

Much of Reed’s testimony regarding two separate events at times became confusing to her ex-husband’s attorney, Julie Parker, and Reed herself admitted to being confused as she told the court how Michael Lawrence Reed, 31, damaged her car and assaulted her earlier this year.

According to her testimony, in January Reed had to leave her car at her ex-husband’s home off Boxwood Church Road because as she was on her way there to collect the children the couple shares, she noticed her low oil indicator light was on in her car, even though she had just picked it up from the shop.

She said Reed told her it was fine if she left her car there, but he was not happy that her fiancé, Robert Featherstone, arrived to take her home. She said Reed did not like Featherstone.

The next day, when she went back to the house to get her car, an Acura, the back door on the driver’s side was smashed, she said, and there was damage to the bumper on his car.

“I said, ‘Mike, what happened to my car?’ and he just smirked,” she testified.

She produced pictures she said showed the damage to her car and black paint from her car on the bumper of his silver car.

She said she went home and called the police but did not speak with her ex again, except by text messages.

In March, she said, she and Featherstone were in her car on their way to his mother’s home, and the route they used took them by Reed’s home. When they passed by, she said, Reed began screaming her name and honking the horn of his car. Believing something was possibly wrong with one of their children, she turned around and stopped her car in the road at the end of his driveway.

“When I got out, he came running over yelling, ‘What are you doing, stalking me?’ He seemed pretty upset, and he was cursing at me, accusing us of messing with his vehicle. He slammed me up against my Acura and backhanded me, and I fell on the ground,” she testified.

The slap caused one of her teeth that normally protrudes to go through her lip, she said.

Featherstone testified he “went after” Reed after he backhanded Samantha.

“I confronted him but she (Samantha) told me to stop, that he was just trying to get me arrested. As soon as we got to her mother’s house, we called the police,” he said.

Parker asked why they didn’t call the police right then, and Featherstone said it was because they had to go meet the school bus.

On cross examination, Parker asked Reed if she noticed black specks on the bumper of her ex’s car before the alleged incident, and Reed said she did not.

“Did you check the bumper of his car over the three years you were split up?” Parker asked, and Reed said she did not.

Referring to rambling text messages from her, Parker asked Reed, “How many times in that particular text conversation did Mr. Reed tell you to leave him alone?”

Reed said she did not know. She admitted calling his place of work and telling them he stole pills from work.

Reed was arrested after Samantha went to the magistrate and took out charges.

Parker made a motion to dismiss the charges of injury to personal property and assault on a female, saying, “I have no idea what happened, and I can’t see how the court can determine what happened either.”

Judge Paul did not allow the motion.

In her closing argument, Parker said: “These witnesses have absolutely no credibility. They’ve contradicted themselves and one another. It’s OK for her to stalk him and creep around on his Facebook page and send text after text after text. She never testified she’s afraid of him which is one of the elements of the charge. She only uses her cell phone to harass him, not to check on the children. This is all an elaborate fabrication. None of it makes any sense. It’s just some kind of weird custody action.”

On the injury to personal property charge, Paul found Reed not guilty, but found him guilty of assault on a female. She gave Reed a prayer for judgment continued. He was ordered to pay court costs and a $335 attorney fee.