Maryland man believed to be dead convicted of rape

DOVER — A Maryland man rumored to be dead was convicted on seven rape-related counts Wednesday afternoon in Kent County Superior Court.

Hours before the jury’s verdict, William L. Reynolds, 45, of Millington, did not appear in Superior Court earlier in the day as mandated.

Officials later received unconfirmed information of his death in Maryland.

With the defendant not present, Judge Jeffrey Clark ordered a capias for his apprehension without bail.

After the verdict was issued Judge Clark ordered bail revoked while referencing a “credible” report that the defendant was deceased.

Prosecuting Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson told the judge that an investigator was working to get a confirmation on Reynolds’ status. Accordingly, the judge did not set a sentencing date due to the ongoing uncertainty.

As deliberations were ongoing and the defendant missing, DAG Walker and defense attorney Jaime L. Walker agreed that the seven-man, five-woman should continue to evaluate seven felony charges against Mr. Reynolds.

Jurists returned to the courtroom briefly and Judge Clark answered questions they had regarding counts and specific alleged acts involving the defendant.

The jury then left to continue deliberations and a recess was ordered.

Convicted charges included five counts of first-degree rape with injury, and single counts of third-degree rape with injury and strangulation. The date of offense was listed in court documents as Nov. 4, 2016, an arrest came on Dec. 6, 2016 followed by an indictment on March 6, 2017.

Four trial dates were postponed in 2017 — June 5, July 18, Sept. 19 and Dec. 18.

At least 20 spectators sat in on the proceedings, roughly half behind the defense table side of the courtroom, the other half behind prosecutors.

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