A Chattanooga man charged with criminal homicide charge is heading to the grand jury with a reduced bond and two fewer charges.
Reginald Woods was charged with criminal homicide, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and possession of a firearm while in commission of a felony after police said he shot and killed Katrina Holloway during an argument on July 20 in her public housing unit.
As a convicted felon, Woods, 43, cannot legally possess a firearm. But after a preliminary hearing today, Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck said the proof showed that Holloway had the weapon, not Woods.
Shattuck dismissed the firearm charges and reduced Woods' bond on the criminal homicide from $335,000 to $150,000 after public defender Jay Underwood argued that the shooting was accidental.
Police went to 1258 Cypress Street around 1:40 a.m. and found Holloway dead from one gunshot to the chest, court records show.
Woods, who was on scene, said Holloway assumed he was cheating on her and grabbed a silver revolver from a sofa cushion.
During a verbal dispute in the kitchen, Holloway tried to "snatch" the revolver back and the gun accidentally fired, according to court records.
Police said Woods' account wasn't consistent with her injuries and believe someone else shot Holloway.
Underwood, however, said Woods was "kind of pushing the gun away" and argued that the revolver would be close to Holloway based on his client's statement.
Holloway's son, 11 at the time, was in the house during the shooting, and Woods told police that some people came to the residence between the time of the accident and when police arrived, Underwood said.
But otherwise, the public defender argued, there was no proof that Woods had any motive to kill Holloway.
Prosecutor Kevin Brown said he didn't need to establish motive this early on for a criminal homicide case. Prosecutors can present more evidence to a grand jury to support specific murder charges.
Police never recovered the silver revolver, Shattuck said, adding the homicide appeared more "negligent" based on the proof so far.
As investigator Corey Stokes pointed out, the police intend to send more evidence to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for further testing.
Brown noted that Woods pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 1998, after initially being charged with first-degree murder, and had five federal drug-related offenses on his criminal record.
Police also charged Woods with attempted first-degree murder in 2011, but prosecutors later dismissed the case, court records show.
Woods was in custody at Hamilton County Jail before the bond reduction, records show. It's unclear now whether he'll be able to make a $150,000 bond.