The former girlfriend of a man accused of a shooting at Lufkin’s Big Lots testified Tuesday about the incident.
Reagan Todd Horton, 49, of Diboll, faces four charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one of which has a retaliation enhancement, as well as charges of burglary of a habitation with a deadly weapon and deadly conduct. The charges stem from a May 24, 2019, incident in which he is accused of shooting out the business’s glass door and walking inside while looking for his ex-girlfriend.
The ex-girlfriend had requested a criminal trespass warning against Horton early that day after in incident in the store parking lot.
The trial continued Tuesday under visiting Judge John Delaney’s supervision. District Attorney Joe Martin, who is prosecuting Horton’s, called the defendant’s ex-girlfriend to testify about their relationship.
Horton’s ex-girlfriend said he first met her in 2013, a few days before his birthday at a bar. They established a dating relationship shortly after, because she found him to be funny, kind and sweet.
However she said their relationship would become rocky as he degraded her and made insulting remarks about her appearance. A cycle of abuse appeared to be established; when they broke apart, she said he would eventually get better with his abusive behavior, and she would come back to him.
Additionally, she also said he would physically abuse her — pulling her hair and pushing her around. In one 2018 incident, she said he hit him with a plastic jar during an altercation that left her bleeding from her scalp. The wound required staples at the emergency room to stop the bleeding. Despite this, she didn’t have charges pressed.
Messages during a rough patch in their relationship, including the day of the incident, were read for the court. Horton’s ex-girlfriend said she was taking care of her nephew, and he used that to threaten making up stories to have CPS take him away. He would frequently call her derogatory names in the messages, tell her to harm herself and said he would lie about her to have her arrested.
Horton used a racial slur in some of the messages; in others, he threatened to destroy her family. Horton also threatened to send intimate videos to her family, something he did before his arrest, according to earlier testimony.
Horton also blamed her for the abuse. He told her he hoped she would die in the last message he had sent her before she had his service cut off.
Horton’s ex-girlfriend said she originally told investigators she did not believe Horton would shoot her the day of the incident. In her testimony, she said she now believed otherwise.
Martin also called upon various officers who responded to Big Lots and the subsequent investigation. Angelina County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Nick Gardner went over all the calls Horton made to his ex-girlfriend while he was booked into the jail, LPD Detective Jamie Jinkins confirmed the cellular numbers.
ACSO’s Sgt. Michael Teer and deputy Josh Denman also testified on Horton’s apprehension, coupled with dashcam footage of him being detained at his home. In the footage, Horton can be heard attempting to argue with authorities and threatening to have them put in jail.
LPD detectives Lance Standridge and John Petty also reviewed photos and evidence taken from the scene, as well as Horton’s vehicle and home.
During Petty’s testimony, Horton’s attorney Al Charanza asked if any controlled substances were found. Petty confirmed that none were located during investigations. Charanza also noted appointment cards for Burke, a mental health center, were found in Horton’s home.