MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A Monongalia County jury has found a Fairmont man guilty on charges related to the shooting death of a West Virginia University student.
It took jury members less than two hours to convict 21-year-old Shaundarius Reeder of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Reeder and Terrell Linear, 22, were charged following the death of 21-year-old Eric Smith at the College Park Apartments in Morgantown in February 2020. According to Monongalia County Prosecutor Perri Jo DeChristopher, the three men got into an argument while leaving downtown Morgantown, in which the men were upset about who had the most money and the best cars.
A physical altercation began when the men arrived at the apartment complex. Smith walked away from Reeder and Linear and entered an apartment. Reeder and Linear began looking for Smith, banging on doors and walls to get his attention. Smith walked out of the unit before Reeder and Linear shot him.
Smith’s death came a month after his 21st birthday.
Authorities arrested Reeder and Linear at a Granville Walmart.
Linear pleaded guilty to first-degree murder during proceedings last week, and he will be sentenced to life in prison with mercy. Prosecutors dropped a conspiracy charge against Linear after he entered the plea deal.
James Smith, Eric’s father, told MetroNews affiliate WAJR-AM that he welcomed Thursday’s verdict.
“It’s not bringing Eric back, but we got justice for Eric,” he said. “And that’s number one.”
The mercy phase of the Reeder trial will begin Friday at 9 a.m., in which attorneys are set to call 11 witnesses.