Bail set at $750,000 for man accused of stabbing, burying girlfriend

At his initial court appearance Friday afternoon, a Texarkana man told a Miller County judge, “It happened so fast.”

Circuit Judge Brent Haltom set bail for Tony Taylor, 56, at $750,000 on charges of first-degree murder and evidence tampering in the death of Crystal Reed, 35. Taylor was arrested Wednesday after leading Texarkana, Ark., detectives to a shallow grave in a heavily wooded area on a hunting lease in Ogden, Ark.

The investigation into Reed’s whereabouts by Texarkana, Ark., police began Tuesday when Reed’s mother reported her missing. Reed’s mother told investigators her daughter had missed work and was not answering her cell phone, according to an earlier press release from Texarkana, Ark., police.

At Friday’s hearing, Taylor spoke in short phrases.

“I was in fear for my life. I couldn’t take it back. It happened so fast,” Taylor said.

Haltom appointed the public defender’s office to represent Taylor and scheduled the case for a status hearing April 11.

Crystal Reed
Crystal Reed

The day after Texarkana, Ark., police took Reed’s missing person report, Texarkana, Texas, police were called to a home where a friend of Taylor’s lives on Pine Street in Texarkana, Texas. There detectives recovered moving blankets, a shovel, rubber boots and dirty gloves from the backyard which Taylor allegedly left.

Investigators with Texarkana, Ark., police went to the apartment Reed shared with Taylor in the Smith Keys Apartments in Texarkana, Ark., on Wednesday. Neighbors told detectives Taylor had threatened to kill everyone in the apartment, including Reed, during a disturbance Saturday. Taylor allegedly confessed Wednesday to stabbing Reed with a knife on Monday.

Taylor led detectives Wednesday to an area on the Ogden hunting lease where the ground appeared recently disturbed. Crime scene detectives recovered a large, industrial size bag which was later determined to contain Reed’s body. The body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy.

If convicted of murder, Taylor faces ten to 40 years or life in prison.

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