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INDEPENDENCE — Chad Allen Reeves, facing a first-degree murder charge in the 2002 shooting death of Brandon Billings, agreed to seek a speedy trial during an appearance in Grayson County Circuit Court last Friday.
Reeves’ attorney, Jonathon Venzie of Independence; Grayson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Doug Vaught and Circuit Court Judge Brett Geisler spent more than an hour on March 21 looking at dates for the trial.
Venzie said he felt the trial would last five days.
Under the speedy trial agreement, Reeves has to be tried on the charges within five months, starting on March 5 when he was transferred from a federal prison in Lexington, Ky., to the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin.
Vaught said a tentative trial date has been set for June 23-27.
Geisler pointed out that if that date wouldn’t work out, that several other dates were available within the five-month timeframe.
Reeves, 31, and George Albert Harper III, 40, are both charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony in the homicide that occurred 11 years ago.
Billings, 18, was a senior at Galax High School and a tackle on the Maroon Tide football team. He was found shot multiple times in the driver’s seat of his Ford Ranger pickup truck in an isolated area off Patton Mill Road about 5 p.m. on Oct. 6, 2002.
Both Reeves and Harper were incarcerated on unrelated charges at the time they were directly indicted on murder charges by a special grand jury. Reeves was a prisoner at FMC Lexington Prison in Kentucky, serving time for a 2006 methamphetamine distribution conviction. Harper is currently a prisoner at Dillwyn Correctional Center in Virginia. His release date is June 2, 2015.
Reeves is being held without bond in the regional jail.