A Smith County jury in the 7th District Court, on Friday, took eight hours to sentence a man to 18 years in prison for the murder of his wife's boyfriend in November 2010. Ricky Jay Reynolds, 47, had faced up to life in prison on the first-degree felony. He will be eligible for parole in nine years.
Reynolds pleaded guilty on Tuesday to murder but opted to have a jury decide his punishment. His defense argued the attack was carried out under a fit of sudden passion.
“We still believe Ricky acted out of sudden passion. We believe the jury listened and did what they thought was appropriate. We hope that everyone can now move forward,” defense attorney Brett Harrison after the verdict was pronounced.
The punishment range for a finding of sudden passion is two to 20 years, Harrison said. The definition of sudden passion is passion directly caused by provocation of the person killed, Harrison told the jury in his closing statement on Friday.