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Last Monday, June 28, a two day trial was scheduled at the Douglas County Courthouse regarding the 2005 shooting of David Reed, 62, by longtime friend and neighbor, Robert Thieman, 60,on the Thieman property located in the Skyline area.
At approximately 10 a.m. Monday the courthouse was filled with over 40 potential jurors. After much questioning from the defense attorneys and the state’s attorneys the jury panel was finally narrowed down to the thirteen people who would serve as jurors (eight women and five men) at around 2:30 that afternoon. Once the courtroom was cleared of the remaining unpicked jury selection, the trial began with Judge John Moody swearing in the jurors.
The state’s attorney proceeded by questioning witnesses. Ms. Coon, who was at the Reed home the night of the shooting and girlfriend of David Reed’s son, was first to take the stand. David Reed also testified Monday afternoon, but left the defense to question him on Tuesday morning.
After David Reed was challenged by the defense attorney, Mr. Reed’s doctor was sworn to testify on the condition in which the shooting had left Mr. Reed’s arm and if it had any possibility of getting better. Those also testifying under oath Tuesday were several law officials who had arrived on the scene the night of the shooting and who later followed up on the investigation.
The state attorneys had well over 30 pieces of evidence (guns, ammunition, pictures, shell casings, etc.) that helped prove where and what happened the night of the shooting.
The defense’s only witness was Robert Thieman himself. During his interrogation he openly admitted to have been drinking the night of the shooting and said he had fired his gun earlier that day because his 18 dogs had been barking, disturbed by noise from the Reed’s home. He also recalled exchanging words with David Reed’s son, Donald, that night.
When asked what was said between the two and if any profanity was used he replied by saying, “I’m not sure, it was a long time ago and I am sure that profanity was used. I was a construction worker, that is half my language.” He then admitted to being angered by all the noise.
Robert Thieman was claiming self-defense in the case saying he thought Mr. Reed was going to run him over. Mr. Thieman attempted to explain how he was walking down his overgrown driveway to shut his gate when David Reed rapidly erupted up the drive, causing him to feel threatened and fearful of his life.
The night of the shooting Mr. Thieman did grant law officials the right to search his property and did surrender willing, but never mentioned two specific guns thought to be used in the shooting. The next day both guns were found, one in the grass and the other hidden in a shed.
The state did an excellent job proving Robert Thieman was not acting in self-defense. It was apparent with all the evidence that David Reed was in fact driving up to the defendant’s property to check on him when Thieman began shooting into the car and hit Mr. Reed, causing permanent and disabling injuries. The most impressive evidence in the case were the photos displaying the amount of shots fired into the car and where they landed on the vehicle along with the casings found at the gate, proving David Reed had just entered the property and there was no way he could have been driving abruptly up Thieman’s driveway. These photos also helped prove where Robert Thieman was standing when the shots were fired and that he was not in harms way of being hit.
It is safe to say that a tragedy did happen on July 5, 2005 between two friends, but also that justice was served on June 28, 2010 when the jury panel took just over an hour to deliberate and come to an unanimous vote finding Robert Thieman guilty on all three felony charges of first degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful used of a weapon. The trial ended at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Thieman is currently being held without bond while he awaits a September 7 sentencing date. He faces a possible sentence of 10 years to life in prison.