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Police arrest man in fatal shooting of pregnant girlfriend

ST. PETERSBURG — Anastasia Boyd was four months pregnant.

She hadn't even told her mother yet.

The baby's father was Larry J. Reed, an 18-year-old who police say may not have been pleased about the pregnancy.

On Wednesday morning, the couple argued.

Hours later, police arrested Reed on a charge of second-degree murder after they said he confessed to shooting Boyd, 24, his girlfriend of a year.

Police say the couple was fighting about their unborn child.

• • •

Elaine Speights said she warned her daughter.

Speights, 45, said she didn't like Reed, who seemed to be the jealous type.

During the course of their relationship, Speights said, Reed was disrespectful and didn't treat her daughter well. He didn't want her to have friends. He smashed her cell phone during an argument, Speights said.

Speights said she tried to protect her daughter, who already had two children from a previous relationship, Aryahna, 6, and Zaniah, 3, who Speights said she is caring for.

On Christmas, Speights barred Reed from coming to her home on 62nd Terrace S, where her daughter also lived.

But she believes Boyd still saw Reed off and on.

"He was very violent," Speights said. "I had tried to keep her away from him. … I don't know if it was love, but she cared."

On Wednesday morning, Speights got a call from a friend who lived near Reed's house. The friend noticed a few police cruisers in the neighborhood and wanted to make sure everything was okay.

Speights called her daughter's cell phone. She didn't answer.

• • •

Police were called to 2211 Anastasia Way S in Lakewood Estates at about 10 a.m.

Police said Boyd was on the phone when Reed entered a bedroom carrying a handgun. The friend on the other line said she overheard Boyd tell Reed not to aim the weapon at her, to put the gun, a .32 revolver, away.

The call ended. Boyd was killed by one gunshot to the chest, police said.

Reed told police two stories.

"When detectives spoke to him he was alluding to the fact that she accidentally shot herself," said Maj. Mike Kovacsev. "After they talked to him a little bit more, he admitted that he had pointed the gun at her but said he accidentally shot her."

Reed will not be charged in connection with the death of the fetus, police said. Police said Florida case law says the age would need to be closer to 22 weeks for authorities to consider that.

Pinellas jail records show Reed was arrested in December in connection with retail theft. He also had juvenile arrests for burglary and arson, records show.

He was at the Pinellas County Jail Wednesday night. Bail had not been set.

• • •

On Wednesday night, dozens of family members and friends gathered at Speights' house to mourn.

Boyd was the eldest of three children. She grew up in St. Petersburg, and never gave anyone trouble, her mother said.

As a child, she was sassy and wanted to become a model. Most people called her "Trice," short for Latrice, her middle name.

In 2003, she graduated from St. Petersburg High School. She'd recently enrolled in Florida Career College intending to become a nurse, her family said.

"She was my pride and joy," Speights said. "He took a piece of us when he took her, and he didn't have to do that. … All she really wanted was to love and be loved."

Times staff writers Jamal Thalji and Katie Sanders and researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Kameel Stanley can be reached at kstanley@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8643.

Police arrest man in fatal shooting of pregnant girlfriend 03/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:39pm]
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