13-Year-Old Lynell Reynolds Sentenced to Juvenile Life


Photo courtesy of NOPD

On Tuesday, August 27 Judge Candice Bates-Anderson handed down a sentence of juvenile life for Lynell Reynolds – the exact result that his family, teachers, and local juvenile justice advocates had been hoping to avoid.

Reynolds was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder in July 2019 for a March shooting that left the victim paralyzed from the waist down. At the sentencing hearing, a group of Reynolds’ teachers spoke on his behalf, creating a portrait of a brilliant young man and star student who has faced unimaginable trauma and violence in his life.

According to Reynolds’ aunt and legal guardian Wanda Solomon, Reynolds’ watched as his uncle murdered his older brother and sister and then kill himself. Two years later, Reynolds witnessed his mother’s murder and saw his father get shot in the head.

“Lynell’s been going through a lot,” Soloman told Fox 8 in an interview. “I have to go to school for him all the time. He’s very smart. He’s sweet. That’s why this is like, to me, a separate life he lives.”






“Lynell’s case signifies that there’s something really, really wrong with our system that we can’t do more for a kid with so much potential,” Reynolds’ former kindergarten teacher Jess Bialecki said. According to Dr. Denese Shervington, clinical professor of psychiatry at Tulane, the trauma that Reynolds has experienced places him in the top 1% of trauma victims – even in New Orleans. She recommended against juvenile lockup, hoping that he would instead be placed in court-ordered treatment in a psychiatric facility.

Unfortunately, the judge did not agree, and handed down the juvenile life sentence, which requires Reynolds to be held in a state juvenile facility until he turns 21. There is a possibility of an early release at 17 if he graduates high school and obtains certifications such as the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).

Shortly after Reynolds was found guilty, District attorney Leon Cannizzaro issued a statement, saying:

“There are no winners in a case as tragic as this. There never should be 13-year-olds in our society using guns to rob and shoot people, and one surely hopes that the Office of Juvenile Justice can successfully rehabilitate this teen during his time in custody. But we also must recognize that his time in custody is well deserved. His violent actions left a young man paralyzed, unjustly robbed of full mobility and complete health for the rest of his life. This crime was life-changing for the victim and his family, now cast as caretakers. And that damage is not rendered any less real or permanent by this juvenile gunman’s age.”


RELATED:

Jenn Bentley is a freelance journalist and editor whose work has also been featured in publications such as Wander N.O. More, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, Examiner.com, and others. Follow her on Twitter: @JennBentley_

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

We’re so grateful to our friends, our families, our neighbors, and especially our readers for chipping in, sharing, and donating to the cause of local progressive media. Your support has lifted us up so much and will most assuredly not be lost or forgotten.

If you care about local independent progressive media in an era where multi-millionaires such as John Georges are monopolizing our local press, then please donate any amount you can to make our operation a success. We can do this! Do not give up.

What else can you do if you’ve already donated and can’t donate anymore? Share our content on Facebook and tell people about our fundraising operation. Call and email others who may be able to give. We believe in you because you believe in us and together we can ensure Big Easy Magazine becomes a progressive icon for New Orleans and an inspiration for the expansion of progressive media around the world.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Publisher
Big Easy Magazine


Share this Article

3 thoughts on “13-Year-Old Lynell Reynolds Sentenced to Juvenile Life

  1. To the district attorney:

    You said: “And that damage is not rendered any less real or permanent by this juvenile gunman’s age.”

    This is of course true.

    But neither is it rendered any less real or permanent by this sentence.

    You cannot change the past, and its also not your job to try. Helping to providing justice, not just to the victims, but to society as a whole however IS your job.

  2. The entire case is so unbearably overwhelming…mercy…there are no winners. I can’t say I could do any better from the position of teachers/advocates, family/friends, or, judge.

  3. The child only knows violence seeing that he has seen the war throu out his childhood this child needs therapy to turn his thinking process from violence to healthy life style. He has seen war at a tender young age don’t throw him away he can b fixed my prayers for both family’s God help us all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add Some Progress to Your Inbox
Big Easy Magazine sends weekly emails to keep you informed about what’s going on in our community and beyond.
We respect your privacy.