On 06 September 2013 Detective Tim Elmore and I were at the Cleveland County Detention Center when we heard radio traffic from Patrol Sergeant Jon McIntyre requesting Criminal investigation Division on-call be notified of the event he responded to. Detective Tim Elmore called Sgt. McIntyre and was told McIntyre’s squad just responded to a shooting at 421 Lemmons Road, Mooresboro, North Carolina; an 11 year old girl shot and killed her 19 year old step-father. Detective Elmore contacted our Lieutenant Richard Acuff to notify him of the incident. Detective Tim Elmore and I arrived at 421 Lemmons Road just before midnight.
The true story was beyond what one’s own imagination could have ever created. Only our worst nightmares could have conjured up the events that were to unfold before us. On scene were patrol deputies, Jody Seagle and Jared Jones, CID Lt. Richard Acuff and Crime Scene Investigator Gary Lee. EMS personnel were there. The 11 year old was identified as Kayla Renee Thomas (DOB: 11-07-2002). She was in an ambulance with her 35 year old mother, Pamela Renee Reno (DOB: 03-22-1978). Kayla’s 19 year old step-father, Bryan Scott Reno (DOB: 01-21-1994) lay in the living room of the mobile home shot dead.
There was another man on scene that we assumed was Kayla’s biological father however he was not. The man was James Horace Wall of 108 Green Avenue, Boiling Springs, North Carolina; he was a former husband of Pamela Reno but not Kayla Thomas’ father. I interviewed James Wall. James told me he heard Bryan was showing Kayla a gun and she accidentally shot him. James said Pam was his ex-wife and she has been married to Bryan Reno for approximately 10 months. James said he married Pam when Kayla was four years old.
He married Pam in March 2006 and they divorced in Nov. 012. James described the marriage as a good marriage until Pam learned she was bi-polar. Another problem they had in their marriage was Pam’s daughter, Chasity. James described Chasity as disobedient and rebellious. James said Chasity is now 16 years old, married, and living somewhere in Dallas, NC. (This shocked me. ) James stated Chasity has not been married long; Pam had to “sign” to give permission for Chasity to wed. James told me Bryan, the dead person, used to date Chasity before Pam developed a relationship with Bryan. (This blew my mind. )
James said Pam, Bryan and Kayla have only lived at 421 Lemmons Road for approximately one month. James said he has a child in common with Pam; Kelsey but Kelsey was currently at his home. Kelsey was scheduled to stay with him for the weekend. James said he got custody of his three children from his first marriage in 2008. The oldest three girls, Amanda (21), Jaime (20), Megan (16) were with Laura his first wife and Kelsey (6) is his daughter with Pam. He says he shares custody of Kelsey with Pam. He gets Kelsey on the weekends or the days she is excused from school. Kelsey stays with Pam on school days.
James said he got a call from Pam at 10:56 pm. Pam said her daughter accidentally shot her husband. James said the only three people at the house during the shooting, he was aware of, were Kayla, Pam and Bryan. James said Pam has anxiety, PTSD, and is bi-polar. James said Pam’s PTSD was a result of being molested as a child by an uncle and her brother. James said Pam is on disability because she is bi-polar. James said Chasity began to date Bryan when he and Pam began to separate. James said Bryan was from Tennessee. He said Bryan does not have a job but thought he might be hired in the future at GCA, a contractor for PPG.
James said he thought Bryan worked with his father while he was in TN. James said he allowed Bryan and Pam to live with him when they came back from TN in March 2013. They moved back to North Carolina because Chasity was causing problems between Bryan and Pam. James said he allowed Bryan, Pam, Kayla and Chasity to move in with him from March 2013 to May 2013. (This shocked me. ) James continued to talk about Chasity’s issues so I pressed James about what they might be. He described Chasity as being sexually active since she was 14 years old and already had sex with over 28 partners. This shocked me. )
He also described Chasity being pulled from Crest and being sent to Alexander Youth because she was disrespectful to teachers and would cuss them out. James also described a recent incident when Pam and Chasity went to Walmart. James said Chasity shoplifted some items but Pam was arrested for it. He claimed the Shelby Police Department found it easier to arrest Pam than to file juvenile petitions on Chasity since she was 15 at the time. (I do not believe that would be true, it sounded like a story Pam had made up. )
James said Pam, Bryan and the girls moved out of his home in May 2013 but had to return to his house a short time later because Pam had trouble with her landlord. James said Pam has been investigated by DSS in the past because she developed an intimate relationship with a child molester in 2009. (This shocked me. ) James said he and Pam were still married when Pam had an affair with Steven Polson the child molester. (If one thought this story was bad, it gets worse. ) James said Steven Polson was married to his ex-wife, Laura. Pam decided to develop a relationship with Steven while Steven was married to Laura.
During the time Steven and Pam were having their torrid affair; Steven molested Pam’s daughter Chasity and James and Laura’s daughter, Jaime. Steven Polson is currently in prison for the molestation of the two children. (This information blew my mind. ) James said his and his first wife, Laura’s, problems stemmed from her abuse of prescription pills. James also described Pam usually goes to bed early every night because she gets all pilled up. James said he was also investigated by DSS in 2009 and 2010 when Chasity accused him of having sexual relations with her. James said he has known of 3-4 investigations with DSS and Pam.
This shocked me. ) Tasked James if he was aware of any arguments Pam and Bryan may have had. He said they did have a few arguments while they lived with him but it was usually over Bryan finding a job. James said Bryan would play with the children but seemed mature for his age. James said Bryan did bring two guns into his home when Bryan stayed with him. One was a shotgun and the other was a . 22 rifle. James said Bryan got rid of the . 22 rifle shortly after he moved in and Bryan kept the shotgun unloaded while it was in the house. I expressed to James how astonished I was with the entire bizarre, twisted story.
James said he has tried to put everything in his past and tried not to think about it all. James said Pam has four children by four different men. Pam’s oldest is Michael. Michael’s father was Pam’s first husband, Joseph Jabbusch. Chasity is Pam’s second child and James did not know Chasity’s father. Kayla is Pam’s third child. Kayla’s father’s name is Ray but James did not know Ray’s last name. And Pam’s fourth child is Kelsey and James is the father of that child. James described his four daughters. James said he learned his oldest daughter Amanda is really not his daughter.
His first wife lied and said Amanda was his. James said he has had DNA tests done on his other girls since the discovery Amanda was not his. I concluded the interview with James Wall in a state of shock and disbelief but who could have made up a story so disgusting and disturbing. I noted all the EMS Personnel on scene with their phone numbers. Detective Tim Elmore and I next interviewed Pamela Renee Reno. This was the first time me seeing Pam. She looked like an overweight, haggard old lady making an attempt to look young. She was wearing and tank top and short shorts.
Her hair was dyed black but the roots were coming through. She had blood stains on her hands; blood caked around her nail beds. She had stray hairs protruding from her chin. She was wearing a nose ring and had many tattoos all over her. When Pam began to talk she had a very noticeable speech impediment. (We learned she was wearing a piercing in her tongue. ) She was extremely calm and did not seem concerned at all that there was a dead man inside her mobile home and her daughter was responsible for his death. Pam said she went to bed that night around 9:00 or 9:30 pm after taking her medications.
She said her husband gave her a kiss good night. Pam asked him if the gun was unloaded. He told her yes. She told him to put the gun in the back of the filing cabinet. Pam said Kayla was watching Santa Claus III when she fell asleep. Pam said her husband asked her if they could have intercourse before she went to bed and she told him no, that she would make up for it tomorrow night. Pam said around 11:00 or 11:30 pm Kayla came into the bedroom. Kayla woke her saying, “Sorry momma, it was an accident. Pam said she saw him on the floor. Kayla told Pam she was sorry and didn’t mean to do it.
She also told Pam all the bullets were out of the gun and the gun was unloaded. Pam said she was trying to revive him but blood was coming out of his mouth and nose. She said she pulled his tank (tank top) down and saw a hole in the right side of his chest. Pam said she called 911. The 911 operator told her to put pressure on the bleeding and to open his airway. Pam said his heart was beating and his eyes were open. He kept throwing up blood. The 911 operator told her to turn him on his side to clear his mouth of blood. Pam said 4:30 or so Kelsey went home with her ex-husband.
Pam said her husband had a 20gauge shotgun and wanted her to shoot it. Pam said her husband was from Tennessee and is very familiar with handling guns. She said they traded the 20 gauge shotgun today for a . 380 handgun. Pam said she found the . 380 on One Man’s Junk. They met a man in Grover to make the trade. The man’s name was Matthew Allen. Pam expressed the man acted suspicious and seemed to be in a hurry to make the trade. Pam said they took Kayla with them to make the trade. She said they also bought another . 380 handgun earlier the same day from a lady named Angie Davis for $200. 00.
Pam said that . 380 was under her pillow still inside the house. Pam said she also learned about that . 380 on One Man’s Junk. They met Angie Davis at Deb’s gas station on Mooresboro Road in Ellenboro. Pam told us how her husband had been raised around guns. Pam said she met her husband in June and they wed in November (I was becoming very irritated that she would not call her husband by his name. She always referred to his as “my husband”. ) Pam said Bryan once shot a hole in the roof of his parent’s home in Tennessee. It seemed Pam skipped over how she met Bryan so we confronted her on their meeting.
She finally admitted she met Bryan through her daughter Chasity but she down played the relationship between Bryan and Chasity. Pam said Chasity just got married herself in August and was living in Dallas. We asked her who had been at the home that day. Pam said Kelsey had been there but her father, James Wall, picked her up around 4:00 pm or a little after. Megan Wall rode with James to pick Kelsey up. Pam said someone else came to the house that evening to pick up a mattress she had for sale on One Man’s Junk. She was in the shower when the person came by the house. Pam said that was around 9:10-9:15 pm.
Pam said Bryan usually goes to bed the same time she does but he did not that night. Pam said Kayla has a hard time falling asleep and sometimes uses Melatonin to help her fall asleep. Kayla said she wanted to stay up to watch television and Pam told her she could but make sure the door was locked. Kayla said she was going to sleep on the couch or sofa. Pam described Kayla sometimes did not like Bryan and other times he would be a father figure to Kayla. Pam said Bryan had a problem sometimes calling Kayla names. She gave the example he would call Kayla dumb. Pam said Bryan did not want children of his own but he liked her two little kids.
Pam said Bryan would play rough with Kayla. Kayla enjoyed living in Tennessee and wanted to go back. Pam said Bryan called Kayla dumb this week. Pam said she told Bryan Kayla was not dumb and he was not allowed to discipline her children. Bryan did teach her children some important life lessons such as how to defend themselves. He taught them how to fight and he would help them with their homework. Pam described Bryan was better suited to assist them with their homework since he just graduated from high school and was more familiar with the subject matter than she.
Pam said Kayla wanted to shoot the shotgun that day but Bryan told her it was too dark outside. Pam talked about Bryan putting the gun (the . 380) in the filing cabinet. Pam acted curious about how Bryan was able to get the gun. She stated she was the only person with a key to the filing cabinet. Pam said she told Bryan to put the gun in the closet but he wanted to put the gun in the filing cabinet. She told him to unload it and to put it in the very back. We asked her if the filing cabinet was locked and she said no. Pam said she and Bryan got into an argument while they were living with James at 108 green Ave.
The argument was over two months ago. She said Bryan lost his temper and held her against a door. She said she tried to have him charged criminally. He left and went to Tennessee for two weeks when he came back he was a totally different person. She said he wasn’t so bossy any more. Pam said they also got into an argument yesterday because she volunteered him to mow grass for a lady. Bryan had a job interview scheduled for the next Wednesday and was going for his drug test. Bryan quit smoking and dipping two days prior. Bryan told Pam when he was a baby he had a hole in his heart and wasn’t expected to live as long as he has.