Defendant Larry Scott Reynolds feared never seeing his sons again, not for killing their mother, he said on an audiotape played for jurors Friday afternoon. Jurors heard four audiotapes of conversations between Reynolds and former girlfriend Eve Barger. Barger testified earlier Reynolds told her he killed the mother of his son, Melissa Atkin, 36, the morning of Dec. 16. Atkins parents found her body the afternoon of Dec. 16 at her Grassland Drive home. Atkin was the mother of Reynolds son. He raised another son but is not his biological father. Sheriffs Detectives Ralph Mayercik and Troy Hooker charged Reynolds with first-degree murder of Atkin after Barger taped several conversations with Reynolds. Reynolds, 38, of Smyrna pleaded not guilty Tuesday on the first day of trial before Circuit Court Judge Don Ash. Defense attorney Joe Brandon is expected to cross-examine Barger when the trial resumes Monday. Barger was on the witness stand more than five hours Friday, testifying about Reynolds sobbing the morning of Dec. 16. She asked him what was wrong. He looked at me and said, I just killed Melissa, Barger said. When she asked why, he said he didnt know. He just couldnt take it any more, Barger said. She urged him to turn himself in but he replied, I cant do that. Barger agreed to audiotape conversations with Reynolds for Mayercik and Hooker. During the first call, Reynolds said he feared going to jail and never seeing his sons again. Barger was heard crying on the tape. District Attorney William Whitesell asked why she cried. I felt like I was deceiving him, Barger said. Whitesell asked Barger how Reynolds felt about Atkin. He hated her, Barger said, adding, He told me that. Whitesell asked Barger about Atkin. Barger replied she never met Atkin, never went to her home and never saw her. Throughout the four tapes played for jurors, Reynolds never admitted killing Atkin but discussed aspects of the case with Barger. When they discussed her missing handgun, Reynolds said he wished she hadnt mentioned the missing gun. Theres no possible way those casings can match, Reynolds said, adding the handgun was not relevant. They dont have the gun with my fingerprints on it. Reynolds repeatedly said he planned to turn himself in after Christmas. When he discussed spending the rest of his life in prison, his mother and sister cried silently. Reynolds told Barger he discussed some of the circumstances with a friend who is an investigator for the Texas Rangers. He was in Texas after the murder. He quoted the investigator as saying he might remain in jail while awaiting trial. Barger mentioned investigators searched her home for evidence. They can search all they want, Reynolds said. Theyre aint nothing out there. Barger testified earlier Reynolds burned several bags of trash outside her home after telling her about the murder. He wore a pair of blue jeans and a black shirt earlier in the day but changed into a pair of khaki pants and a polo shirt when he left. He didnt leave the jeans for her to wash. During the morning testimony, sheriffs Lt. Philip Martin testified about items recovered from a burn pile at Bargers home. One of the pieces recovered was a Wrangler jeans tag. When arrested, Reynolds wore Wrangler jeans. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent Linda Littlejohn testified she analyzed some clothes but couldnt determine the type. Littlejohn recovered two cartridges from Bargers car. The cartridges were identified as a similar bullet to three recovered from Atkins body and the one recovered from her mattress. She also examined footprints from Atkins home but could not link any footprints to anyone. Also, zip ties binding Atkins wrists were compared to zip ties found at Reynolds home. The ties didnt match. Brandon asked about any evidence linking Reynolds to Atkins home. Did you find any evidence linking Mr. Reynolds to the crime scene? Brandon asked. No I did not, Littlejohn answered.

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