Update: Marine veteran pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter in death of fellow veteran

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Update

Daniel Tabor Reed was sentenced to 20 years to serve 7 in a plea deal to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, according to the Alcovy Circuit Court District Attorney’s Office in Walton County. Reed appeared in front of Judge Eugene M. Benton to process the plea deal and for sentencing prior to a jury being picked. Fellow Marine Veteran Scott Ashley Rager died from a bullet from his own gun in the hand of Reed during a social event in Woodlake on June 16, 2017. Rager died the following day as a result of the wounds.

Initial Story

Jury selection begins Monday for the August 2019 criminal trial term of Judge Eugene M Benton. First up on the calendar is the trial of Daniel Tabor Reed, 40, of Atlanta, in the alleged murder of fellow Marine Scott Ashley Rager, 41, of Kennesaw, Ga. in June 2017. Rager was a Sergeant in the United States Marines. Reed is accused of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He is represented by Athens attorney Edward Tolley. Reed is a Purple Heart recipient who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to reports at the time, Walton County Sheriff’s Office reported that it was the victim’s own gun that caused his death. Rager, also a Marine veteran, died in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 17, of a gunshot wound. Capt. Kirk McLeroy reported that both Rager and Reed were visiting a homeowner in the Woodlake subdivision in Monroe on the evening of June 16, 2017 and at some point a dispute escalated to the point that Reed shot Rager.

“It is my understanding that both of them came to visit the homeowner, who only knew Reed. They were socializing, just hanging out and having some drinks,” Leroy said at the time. “At some time during the course of the evening, Rager was demonstrating some sparing techniques. They were on the back deck and the homeowner went to the bathroom. He said when he returned, Reed and Rager were squared off. He said he then heard the shot. He said prior to him going to the bathroom, everything seemed fine.”

McLeroy said when the homeowner returned, it was Rager’s gun that was in Reed’s hand, but McLeroy said they were all familiar with guns and there were other guns in the home. According to the WCSO incident report, the fatal shooting took place at about 1:34 a.m. on Saturday morning. McLeroy said although the men were drinking, it did not appear to be excessive, based on the number of empty containers.

 

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