An ex-Cobb County, Georgia police sergeant convicted of the drowning death of his best friend after a boating accident, will be released this week from prison after serving 18 months of his sentence according to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Kenneth Paul Reda, 40, of Acworth, was convicted of lying to law enforcement officers, violating his oath of office, and second-degree homicide by water vessel after the death of his fellow officer Brent Stephens. Reda was sentenced January 28, 2011 to four years in prison followed by 11 years of probation. Reda was released from prison on Tuesday, July 31.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Stephens drowned after a night on the lake with Reda and Shellen Powell. Powell and Reda were involved in an affair. According to trial testimony, the three were heading back to a marina near Red Top Mountain after having dinner at a lakeside restaurant when the boat clipped a pylon tossing Stephens in the cold water. Reda and Stephens were unharmed in the accident.
Immediately following the accident, Reda and Stephens began shouting for Stephens, a married father of two. Fearful of Reda’s affair with Powell going public, Reda proceeded to drive back to shore where he dropped Powell off. Powell was a neighbor of Reda’s in the Brentwater neighborhood in Paulding County. Reda also emptied the boat of beer bottles and a cooler, telling Powell not tell anyone she involved in the accident.
Reda called 911 an hour and half after Stephens fell into the water. Reda told operators it was just the two of them onboard the boat. He claimed he thought Stephens jumped in the water as a prank.
Reda told the 911 operator, “I’m out here on Lake Allatoona. I have a friend I think jumped off my boat and I have no idea where is he.”
He continued by saying, “I think he jumped off or whatever the case. I don’t know if he fell off the boat…I turned around and started looking for him right away. I found his flip-flops, and I have not found him.”
Powell was also charged in connection with the crime. In February 2011, she was sentenced to eight years probation, including six months of home confinement for lying about the wreck.
The Stephens family had no comment about Reda’s release. Reda will remain on parole until January 2015.
South Carolina Boating Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident and are facing criminal charges, call the South Carolina boating lawyers at the Strom Law Firm today. Boating under the influence and other criminal charges associated with boating can carry stiff penalties, including imprisonment. Just because you on the water, does not mean you cannot be charged with a crime. The Strom Law Firm will fight aggressively to get your charges reduced or even dismissed. Call us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800.