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Man in wheelchair charged in killing at Georgia gas station

December 06, 2012|By Andrew Khouri
  • Frank Louis Reeves is wheeled out of a Macon, Ga., courtroom Wednesday.
Frank Louis Reeves is wheeled out of a Macon, Ga., courtroom Wednesday. (Woody Marshall / Macon Telegraph )

An elderly man was charged with murder in the shooting death of a 65-year-old woman after his motorized wheelchair "made contact" with her car at a Georgia gas station, authorities said.

The collision, which occurred as Linda Hunnicutt was pulling in to the station about 1 p.m. Tuesday, led her to step out of her Buick Lucerne and briefly exchange words with the man, a spokeswoman for the Macon Police Department said.

The man, identified as Frank Louis Reeves, then shot her in the chest,  police said.

“It was a chance meeting between people. They exchanged words … what happened in that brief time period when they exchanged words we don’t know,” police spokeswoman Jami Gaudet said Wednesday.

Reeves, 73, of Macon, was taken into custody at the scene and has been charged with felony murder. He has made a statement to police, Gaudet said, although she declined to reveal its contents.

Gaudet said the two vehicles “made contact” but did not know who initiated the contact or how fast Hunnicutt’s car was traveling.

A call to the gas station went unanswered Wednesday.

Melissa Whisby, who was at the scene, said Hunnicutt got out of the car and walked behind her vehicle to where Reeves was, the Associated Press reported.

“I looked down for a minute and when I looked back she was in a kneeling position,” Whisby told the Associated Press.

Hunnicutt then slid to the ground, where she remained motionless, Whisby told the AP. “I was like, 'Something is wrong,'" she said.  

Hunnicutt was taken to a hospital, where she died of her injuries, police said.

The shooting has shaken the residents of Macon, a city of about 90,000, because of its “randomness,” Gaudet said. The spokeswoman said Hunnicutt, who lived in nearby Jones County, was married with children. No other details were immediately available.

Reeves appeared before a judge Wednesday afternoon, seated in a wheelchair, his feet shackled, hands free, the Telegraph newspaper  reported.

A hearing has been set for Dec. 19, the paper said.

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