Joshua Reyner

BELTON — A witness and an arrest affidavit claim 15-year-old Joshua Reyner was selling marijuana when he was allegedly shot and killed Jan. 2 by John Ryan Osborn, 18, of Belton.

Reyner wasn’t the first Bell County teenager to die over a marijuana sale set up through social media.

Just over 13 months ago on Dec. 8, 2018, 18-year-old Isaac Kohlhaas was shot and killed during a drug deal and robbery in the parking lot of the Walmart at 6801 W. Adams Ave. in West Temple. The deal was set up through a social media messaging service.

A witness to the fatal shooting said he drove Osborn to a cul-de-sac and an individual, later identified as Reyner, came to the vehicle with marijuana, an arrest affidavit said.

Osborn reportedly grabbed the marijuana, Reyner grabbed Osborn and the witness heard two shots fired from a silver revolver Osborn had previously identified as a .38-caliber. The driver sped away from the scene.

Another person was reportedly told by Osborn to dispose of the gun, but that person still had it and gave it to Belton Police detectives when he was questioned, according to the affidavit.

The meeting was set up through social media. Osborn was identified through social media, his SnapChat name and account. Family and friends reportedly confirmed Osborn used that account.

When detectives talked to Osborn after he was read his Miranda rights, he denied seeing Reyner on Jan. 2 and said he was with a lot of people that night. However, the people Osborn named said they were with him much later that evening.

When Belton Police officers and EMTs arrived at 1610 S. Wall St., EMS removed Reyner’s shirt and saw he had a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Reyner was taken to the hospital and later died.

Reyner’s body was sent for an autopsy. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to his trunk and the manner of death was homicide, the affidavit said.

Victim’s stepfather speaks out

His stepfather, Richard Furnace, shared information with the Telegram about the struggles and victories Reyner had in his 15 years.

“Like all of us, Josh was not perfect,” Furnace said.

Reyner suffered from depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, which occasionally manifested in behavioral issues, Furnace said.

Unfortunately, Furnace said, it is probable Josh was selling marijuana.

“Even so, he regularly offered advice to others who were facing similar challenges and sympathized with their shared struggle,” Furnace said. “Through it all, he remained true to himself.”

Josh left the home of his mother and stepfather about 10 months ago to live with his father and then lived for the last five or six weeks with a friend, according to Furnace.

Furnace described Reyner’s long, warm hugs, his deep love for people close to him and the opportunities he took to make others laugh.

He described Reyner as “silly” and loyal to his friends. His best friend was his younger brother, Jacob, and they talked and played video games for hours on end,” Furnace said. He described the brothers as “virtually inseparable.”

The things Reyner enjoyed most were long walks, bike riding, playing video games and spending time with his friends.

The family’s disappointment

Reyner’s family was upset at the low amount for Osborn’s bond — a total of $100,000. Osborn was released from the Bell County Jail day after he was arrested and charged with homicide.

The family was shocked that a suggested $1 million bond by Bell County Justice of the Peace Ted Duffield was adjusted to $100,000 by Justice of the Peace G.W. Ivey.

It was only a suggested bond and he can set bond at what he wants, Ivey said.

“Remember, someone is innocent until they’re proven guilty,” Ivey said.

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