Affidavit: Lindale man accused of killing 2 with pickup says ex was pregnant

Suspect put propane tanks in truck in hopes of blowing himself up
Old Mineola Highway
Old Mineola Highway(KLTV)
Updated: Dec. 14, 2020 at 11:15 AM CST
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SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A capital murder arrest warrant for the man suspected of hitting and killing two people with his pickup at a Lindale residence on Dec. 9 revealed that he intended to kill the victims, his ex-girlfriend, whom he claimed was pregnant, and the man she had been living with at the time of the crime.

The man also hoped to blow himself up in the crash, according to the warrant.

David Joshua Reed, 40, of Lindale, is still being held in the Smith County Jail on charges of capital murder, indecency with a child by sexual contact, contempt of court, driving with license suspended, failure to maintain financial responsibility, and violating a promise to appear.

Collectively, Reed’s bond amount was set at $1,301,500.

David Reed (Source: Smith County Jail)
David Reed (Source: Smith County Jail)(Smith County Jail)

An investigator with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office investigator obtained the murder warrant. She spoke with the SCSO deputy who was dispatched out to 19749 County Road 431 in Lindale to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety to help with a fatal crash that occurred late Dec. 8 or in the early morning hours of Dec. 9.

The deputy told the investigator that a white Dodge pickup drove into the yard of the residence there and struck a camper trailer, destroying it before coming to a stop. The driver fled on foot, the warrant stated.

“Two bystanders who were either located inside the camper trailer or outside next to it were also struck by the vehicle,” the warrant stated.

The two victims were knocked more than 65 feet from the RV trailer, and they hit the front of a house, the warrant stated. It appears that Timothy Robin Nelson Jr., the 40-year-old male victim, died on impact. Shelby Duarte, the 23-year-old female victim, was found to be still breathing.

A medical helicopter airlifted Duarte to a local hospital, where she later died because of her injuries, the warrant stated.

Members of Nelson’s family told law enforcement that he and Duarte lived in the camper trailer that was struck. The family heard the crash and went outside. They found nelson and Duarte on the ground in front of the residence.

Nelson’s mother, who owns the property, said she saw her son get home around midnight on Dec. 8. She texted him at about 12:15 a.m. that morning, and nothing seemed to be wrong, the warrant stated.

Nelson’s mother went to bed, and shortly after that, she heard the loud noises.

During the investigation of the crash, DPS troopers found that the Dodge pickup was registered to Reed. DPS troopers and SCSO deputies then searched for Reed, using a K-9 and a cell phone “ping.” When they called Reed’s phone, it started to ring inside the pickup, the warrant stated.

The law enforcement officers also found four propane tanks inside Reed’s truck.

Later, the investigation revealed that Reed is Duarte’s ex-boyfriend and that he had been the suspect in several cases against Duarte, including aggravated kidnapping and an assault, the warrant stated.

Duarte’s family told law enforcement this had been an ongoing issue because Reed was upset with his ex-girlfriend for breaking up with him, the warrant stated. Nelson’s family allegedly said they didn’t want Duarte to move in with Nelson because they thought she would bring her problems with her.

According to the warrant, Nelson’s family also said that Duarte had been hiding her vehicle behind the residence on County Road 431 because she was afraid Reed would take it. However, in the days before the incident, Duarte had been parking her vehicle next to the camper trailer.

When law enforcement interviewed Reed, he had a set of Dodge truck keys in his possession and new bruises on his stomach area, the warrant stated.

“Reed admitted to affiant he did drive through the camper trailer and it was his intent to cause harm and death to Duarte and Nelson,” the warrant stated. “Reed explained Duarte told him she was pregnant with his baby. Duarte continued to be with Nelson and would tell Reed she was going to come back to him.”

Reed told the SCSO investigator that he was texting Duarte at about 11 p.m. on Dec. 8. He added that Nelson started sending him text messages and it “made him mad,” the warrant stated.

At that point, Reed made the decision to head over to Nelson’s place to kill him and Duarte, the warrant stated.

“Reed told affiant he wanted to kill himself as well, so he loaded up the front seat of his truck with propane bottles, believing the crash would blow him up,” the warrant stated.

Reed told law enforcement that he drove by once and spotted Nelson’s vehicle. He allegedly parked a few blocks down the road and sent a voice mail to Duarte that said, “You reap what you sow. I will see you in hell.”

According to the account that Reed gave to law enforcement, he started to drive toward the camper trailer at a high rate of speed, the warrant stated. As he did so, he opened the valve on one of the propane tanks.

“Reed explained he did not care anymore and also knew he would be killing his unborn child,” the warrant stated.

Previous story: Smith County authorities: Murder suspect rammed trailer with ex-girlfriend, man inside

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