JONESBORO — Shawn Cone testified Friday that he thinks a group he called “The Organization” killed Alissa Reynolds on Dec. 2, 2019, because he owed the group $200,000 in gambling debts.
He testified that the first warnings were they were “going to rough me up.”
Cone said his Chevrolet Tahoe was damaged by them, and he said he went to the hospital five times after being beaten by the group, injuring his jaw and the back of his head.
He said another of his vehicles had the back window broken out.
On cross-examination, Deputy Prosecutor Martin Lilly said investigators found only one instance in which Cone was treated at a hospital and that was for alcohol poisoning.
Cone said he also bought drugs from the group and spent $2,400 a week on heroin and cocaine. He said runners for the group would deliver the drugs to the gate between Reynolds’ residence in the 5000 block of Brac Place and the Southside Softball Complex gate.
He said he is addicted to alcohol, drugs and gambling.
In October 2019, Cone was arrested and charged with stealing and cashing checks from a business i n Jonesboro. In late November 2019 he was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
Cone testified that he and Reynolds were friends first and lovers second.
He said after his arrest friends were telling Reynolds to break up with Cone.
Prosecutors showed Cone Facebook messages, one of which Reynolds said, “I want a normal life again.”
“She was throwing you out,” Lilly said.
“No, she wasn’t,” Cone replied.
Cone said on the night of Reynolds’ slaying he went to the Elks Lodge where he was given a yearlong suspension by the board. He then went to a liquor store and bought a 30-pack of beer and a bottle of champagne. He said he then went home.
“Once I walked in and saw the back door open. I see a bloody mess,” Cone said. “I panicked. I don’t remember a lot about it.”
“Why didn’t you call the police,” Cone’s attorney, Gerald Coleman, asked.
“Because of all of the trouble I was in, the door was kicked in,” Cone said. “I was in a panic mode.”
“Did you killed Alissa?” Coleman asked Cone.
“No, I did not,” he replied.
He said he spent several days drinking and taking drugs.
Cone said he told a friend, Donny Tilton, about Reynolds’ slaying on Tuesday night at the softball complex.
Tilton, testifying after Cone, denied Cone told him about it.
Cone had a list of countries that don’t have an extradition treaty with the United States.
Cone was arrested by federal authorities on Dec. 9, 2019, in Key West, Fla.
Sgt. Jason Chester testified on Wednesday officers broke through the back door and found a chaise lounge with blankets, quilts and towels piled on it. Underneath they discovered Reynolds’ body. He said officers then left the house and contacted the Criminal Investigation Division at JPD and the county coroner. They waited until officers arrived with a search warrant, Chester testified.
Deliberations began Friday at the Craighead County Courthouse.
Cone faces up to life in prison on charges of capital murder, abuse of a corpse, theft of a vehicle valued at greater than $5,000 but less than $25,000, theft of items valued at more than $1,000 but $5,000 or less, theft of credit/debit cards, nonfinancial identity fraud, tampering with physical evidence and fraudulent use of a credit card.