Car driver faces murder charge for 'road rage' crash

Alexander Reed
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LEBANON, Mo. - A man from Ridgedale is charged with murder because state troopers believe his road rage caused a fatal motorcycle crash two months ago. The Laclede County prosecutor on Friday charged Alexander Reed, 22, with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, and leaving the scene of an accident.

The crash was on Friday, Dec. 30, at 1:20 p.m. on Missouri 5, about eight miles north of Lebanon. Reed’s 2005 Cadillac CTS and a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle ridden by Cole Jones were both northbound. Troopers believe Reed was angry at Jones and slammed on his brakes, causing Jones’ bike to hit the back of his sedan. The cycle ran off the right side of the road and Jones flew off. He died at the scene. Reed kept going, but officers found him a few days later.

Jones, 33, lived in Dixon. He graduated in 2002 from Sullivan High School and then graduated from Linn State Technical College. He was a heavy equipment operator who had worked on oil rigs, according to his obituary. His hobbies included fishing, hunting and camping. He was also a certified scuba diver and a member of the Wingmen Motorcycle Club and loved to travel.

According to the probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges, troopers learned on Jan. 3 about a phone call that Reed made to a woman in Lebanon just minutes after the fatal crash. In that call, the trooper learned, Reed said the motorcyclist became angry and kicked off the driver’s side mirror of Reed’s car. That led Reed to get in front of the cyclist and slam on his brakes, causing the fatal crash. Reed also told the woman in the call that he was going to Ha Ha Tonka State Park near Camdenton to hide from officers.

The woman told the trooper that Reed “became frantic on the telephone and told her not to tell anyone.” He said “there were State Troopers everywhere and he was afraid there were cameras around that caught him.” The black Cadillac CTS belongs to the woman whom Reed called on the phone, and she told the trooper that she found a dent on its bumper that night.

Reed also talked to a man 10 minutes after the crash. In that conversation, which was told to the trooper who wrote the probable cause statement, Reed said he and the motorcyclist had been racing northward on Missouri 5.

“Reed claimed the motorcycle driver became mad and began to kick the driver side of the vehicle, ultimately damaging the driver side mirror. Reed then sped up to get ahead of the motorcycle. Reed then noticed the motorcycle was behind him, so he slammed on the brakes, causing the motorcycle to impact the rear bumper of the Cadillac,” according to the probable cause statement.

The man to whom Reed was speaking on the phone asked if the cyclist was okay.

“Reed informed him he did not know if the motorcycle driver was okay, he thought he was dead and then left the scene.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Crime Laboratory collected fibers from the bumper of the Cadillac and said they were “a similar color and some chemical similarities to the material composing the leather-like material of the saddle bag located on Cole Jones’ motorcycle.”

Investigators confirmed through cell phone company records that Reed’s phone was traveling on Missouri 5 at the time of crash, and that he later had his phone with him at Ha Ha Tonka State Park for two hours after the crash.

The Highway Patrol’s Major Crash Investigative Unit found “a unique impression” on the rear bumper of the Cadillac that it concluded was made by the left foot peg of Jones’ motorcycle.

Reed has been in the Laclede County jail since Jan. 4 in lieu of a $250,000 bond.

Reed pleaded guilty in Laclede County for possession of a controlled substance last Nov. 7 and received five years of probation. In a separate case, he pleaded guilty that same day for misdemeanor theft and misdemeanor property damage, and received two years of probation.

After Reed was arrested for the fatal crash, he was charged with violating conditions of his probation, which allowed him to be kept in jail until the investigation of the fatal crash was completed. If he’s convicted of second-degree murder for Cole’s death, he could get a prison sentence between 10 and 30 years.

The armed criminal action charge stems from Reed using the car as a deadly weapon, according to the prosecutor's complaint. A conviction for armed criminal action carries a prison sentence of three years or more.