Man pleads guilty to murder in deadly shooting of pregnant woman

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HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The man accused of fatally shooting a pregnant woman in the face in Henry County in 2020 pleaded guilty to three charges on Thursday, including murder.

According to court documents, Thomas Christopher McDowell pled guilty on Thursday to second-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.

McDowell was arrested on Feb. 19, 2020, in connection with the death of Krystal Anne McReynolds of Bassett, who authorities found shot in the face at a Fieldale residence just before 10 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2020, search warrants say.

McReynolds was taken to Sovah Health in Martinsville with life-threatening injuries and transferred to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where she later died.

According to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, McReynolds was approximately four to five months pregnant, but lost the unborn child.

The Medical Examiner’s Office for the Western District of Virginia determined McReynolds’ cause of death to be a gunshot wound while the unborn baby’s death was due to “maternal trauma.”

Before she died, McReynolds was able to identify McDowell as the man who shot her in the face.

McDowell also had prior criminal history, including intent to commit larceny or assault, possession of weapon capable of death/injury by prisoner, and violation of probation in Floyd County.

McDowell is set to be sentenced in September.

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