Man appears in court for 2nd-degree reckless homicide charge in death of mother’s husband

Man appears in court for 2nd-degree reckless homicide charge in death of mother’s husband

An Iowa County man made his first court appearance on charges that he killed his mother’s husband Wednesday.

Austin Valdez is accused of second-degree reckless homicide after admitting to officials that he shot Robin Reeson, the husband of his mother, Melanie Reeson, in Ridgeway early in the morning on March 24, according to a criminal complaint.

But court documents show Valdez said he was protecting his mother and didn’t shoot to kill, telling investigators he heard the two fighting outside his bedroom and grabbed his gun.

The criminal complaint says he “saw Robin Reeson hitting, slapping, and pulling Melanie Reeson’s hair and choking her” and that Valdez said, “Robin, that’s enough.”

The documents indicate Robin Reeson approached Valdez, and that’s when Valdez shot him in the upper left chest, aiming for his shoulder.

According to the criminal complaint, Melanie Reeson said Robin Reeson never hit or slapped her, but may have choked her briefly with one hand.

Investigators said in their report that while there was evidence of physical contact between Melanie and Robin Reeson, it didn’t result in any injuries, and that they believe it was unreasonable for Valdez to to have thought that Robin Reeson would have caused great bodily harm.

Robin Reeson’s niece, Tina Komplin Miller, said she can’t imagine her uncle beating his wife.

“He was just a big ol’ teddy bear,” she said. “He would never hit a woman.”

Court records from 1995 show Reeson was found guilty of substantial battery in a case involving the beating of a man outside a tavern, but otherwise, documents indicate officials believe there are no previous domestic incidents involving him, his wife or Valdez.

“I’m hurting and my mother is hurting and my family’s all just hurt, and it’s horrible that there’s nothing I can do, and we just hope we can get some justice for him,” Miller said.

The bond for Valdez is set at $50,000 and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 3.

If convicted, Valdez is faces up to 25 years in prison.