Police arrested and charged an Anchorage man with murder in the fatal shooting in March of a heroin dealer who had a debt with another man in Florida, according to charges filed Thursday.
Police say Justin Stegall, 22, robbed and shot Shawn Reid, 27, in Reid's apartment on Dewberry Street in the West Dimond area about seven weeks ago. According to the charges, the killing involved a cross-country triangle of dope and money that connected Reid, a heroin dealer in Anchorage, to a man in Florida who was owed money, and Stegall, the alleged killer.
Reid's girlfriend told police she and Reid were selling heroin and had a contact in Florida named Beau, according to the charging document.
The Florida man was Daniel Beau Jackson, who'd lived at the apartment before Reid and moved away to establish a heroin connection, the charging document said.
Jackson and Reid communicated by text message, the charges said. Before Reid was killed, those messages turned angry and threatening over money owed, the charges said.
From Florida, Jackson was texting and calling another man in Anchorage on the day of the slaying. That man was Justin Stegall, according to phone records obtained by police.
Anchorage detectives phoned Jackson for an explanation. Jackson told them he hadn't sent a hit man but mentioned the name "Justin," according to the charges. Jackson said Stegall wanted to buy electronics he was advertising online and had left at his old home in Anchorage, where Reid was now living.
Amid the phone calls and text messages to and from Beau Jackson in Florida, Justin Stegall's cellphone records showed he was communicating with another person in Anchorage: the man who would be his getaway driver. The driver was not named in the charging document.
The driver spoke to police after he was stopped recently for a traffic violation in a red four-door Kia, the charges say. He said he received a text message from Stegall asking if he wanted to make some money, according to the charges.
"He called Justin to ask what he needed to do. Justin just wanted a ride to collect some money," the charges say.
The driver said he picked up Stegall and drove to the apartment.
Reid's girlfriend was in bed with Reid when a man barged into the apartment with a gun. She didn't know the man but police said it was Stegall.
"Look, Shawn, you owe Beau money," the intruder said, pointing the gun at Reid, according to the charges.
Stegall beat Reid with the handgun, the girlfriend told police. She left the room, heard gunfire and returned to find Reid shot. When police arrived, they pronounced Reid dead. A witness described a man in a green plaid jacket with blood on him leaving the area in a red four-door car.
The driver heard the shots. He also told police Stegall had blood on him when he returned. Stegall said he'd gotten into a fight with a man inside the apartment, according to the charges. The driver told police he drove Stegall to the area of 84th Avenue and Lake Otis Boulevard where he'd picked him up earlier.
Cellphone records showed Stegall made phone calls around the time of the shooting from near the Dewberry apartment and along a route back to where the driver said he dropped Stegall off, the charges say.
In a Thursday interview, Stegall told a detective he did not know Jackson, the alleged Florida connection, but that he talked to him on the phone, the charges say.
Police charged Stegall with murder, robbery and weapons misconduct.
At Stegall's first court appearance on the murder charges Friday, a judge set his bail at $500,000 cash with an additional $100,000 he is allowed to pay with a bond. A prosecutor at the hearing said Stegall had been convicted of nine crimes in the previous three years and was on probation at the time of the fatal shooting.
Stegall's charges in Reid's death represent the 13th time the 22-year-old Stegall has faced criminal charges since he turned 18.
Court records for juveniles are not public but they show that Anchorage police charged Stegall with minor consuming in 2006. In 2007, Stegall faced felony charges for assault and leaving the scene of an accident but the case was referred to juvenile court, so the outcome of the case is unknown. Stegall was charged with a misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of an accident in 2008 and for allegedly having drugs a few months after the wreck. He was charged with misdemeanor assault in 2009 and again with felony assault in 2010, as well as theft of a firearm.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.