Mother: Ronda Reynolds was murdered by her stepson

Mother: Ronda Reynolds was murdered by her stepson »Play Video
Ronda Reynolds
CHEHALIS, Wash. -- Barb Thompson says she's certain her daughter was murdered, and by a relative.

The mother's emotional testimony came on the fifth day of the coroner's inquest into the death of former state trooper Ronda Reynolds.

The jury has been asked to decide whether Reynolds' death was murder or suicide. The investigators can't agree on the cause of death. But Reynolds' mother says she's certain.

"There is no doubt," she said. "My daughter was murdered."

Not only that, Thompson believes her daughter was killed in 1998 by Reynolds' stepson, Jonathan Reynolds.

"He either pulled the trigger or coerced someone into doing it," she said.

Thompson told the jury the stepson had previously threatened to kill Ronda Reynolds. She said the stepson, as a teenager, went into the bathroom as she showered and pulled open the curtain. Ronda Reynolds complained to her husband, Ron Reynolds, who is Jonathan Reynolds' father.

"And at that point, Jonathan went into a rage and threatened to kill her," Thompson said. "The Grays Harbor deputies were called."

But Thompson provided no hard evidence to the jury, only her supposition after years of looking into the death that for years had been ruled a suicide.

Ronda Reynolds' brief marriage to Ron Reynolds was reportedly failing, and she was getting ready to move out the next day. Instead, her body was found in a closet and a gun was found in her hand.

After the Problem Solvers launched an investigation, several experts said it appeared the scene was staged and the gun placed in her hand.

Ronda Reynolds' mother has been fighting to get the death changed to a homicide, and tearfully told of the first moments with Ron Reynolds after the death, asking about funeral arrangements.

"He said he didn't know, as long as he didn't have to pay for it," Thompson said.

It is important to note these statements are Thompson's opinions about what happened. No one has been arrested and Jonathan Reynold is not responding to these allegations as he has chosen to exercise his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. Ron Reynolds and his two other sons have also chosen not to testify.

The inquest will continue next week when the jury will be asked whether Ronda Reynolds' death was a murder or a suicide.