Three found dead in home

Published 2:35 pm Monday, December 7, 2009

A Decatur County man shot and killed his longtime live-in girlfriend and their son before killing himself on Saturday night, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies discovered the tragedy at the home of James Lewis “Bubba” Reynolds III, 42, of 202 County Line Road, in northern Decatur County.

Reynolds’ sister, Tammy Cook, went to check on him and found his body along with those of his girlfriend, 31-year-old Tonia Swords, and their son, 7-year-old Kahm Reynolds, Sheriff Wiley Griffin said.

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The Sheriff’s Office was investigating Reynolds after allegations he had sexually molested two young females, Sheriff Griffin said. The victims had underwent a forensic interview and deputies judged their accounts were believable, he said.

Because of that ongoing investigation, Sheriff’s deputies had removed Swords and her family from Reynolds’ home and placed her in a safe residence outside of Decatur County, Griffin said. In addition, the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services had implemented a safe plan designed to protect Swords’ children, the sheriff said.

Swords’ other two children did not go back to the home and are being taken care of by relatives, Griffin said.

On Monday, after Swords was moved out, Reynolds had been ordered to have no further contact with her.

“For some reason, unbeknownst to me or to this office, Tonia and her child got back to [Reynolds’] residence and all indications were that he killed them,” Griffin said.

Griffin said he was not aware of any history of domestic violence between Reynolds and Swords, who had lived together as a couple for several years but were not legally married.

However, there were guns in Reynolds’ home, and last week, deputies were planning to arrest him on the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the sheriff. They were prevented from doing so after Swords claimed ownership of the guns, he said.

Sheriff Griffin said there was no indication that anything bad would happen after Swords left Monday. He said deputies did not receive any complaints on Reynolds.

“There were no threats of violence when we met with him on Monday,” Griffin said. “When we asked to interview him as part of the investigation, he asked for a lawyer.”