A Phenix City father whose son was killed two months ago after being struck by two vehicles while riding his bicycle said Friday he is concerned about the district attorney’s handling of the case.
Sean Kevin Rey, 26, died April 18 as a result of the injuries he suffered when he was hit in the early-morning hours of April 2 as he rode to work in the 3600 block of Summerville Road.
Phenix City police have filed no charges against either driver involved in the incident, Chief Ray Smith said.
While the investigation continues, Sean’s parents, Skip and Brenda Rey, have become increasingly frustrated. On Friday, District Attorney Kenneth Davis said he plans to present the case to the July 6 Russell County Grand Jury. Because of the district attorney’s connections to one of the alleged drivers, Forest Duncan, 82, of Phenix City, Skip Rey expressed his concerns Friday.
Duncan once worked as a bailiff in the Russell County courthouse and his son currently holds that position. Duncan is the father-in-law of Phenix City Council member Chris Blackshear.
“We don’t believe he has the best interest of our son at heart,” Skip Rey said.
After being told of Skip Rey’s concerns late Friday afternoon Davis said his office would step aside if asked.
“If Mr. Rey wants to call my office or write a letter and request that the attorney general handle this case, I will recuse my office,” Davis said.
Under Alabama law, the state attorney general can take over a case from the local district attorney. Davis said his office has recused itself “once or twice” in his 32 years as district attorney.
About 6 a.m. April 2 Rey was traveling north on Summerville Road when he collided with a white 1992 Ford pick-up truck that turned in front of him at 36th Street and Summerville Road, police said. The truck was driven by Rebecca Roberts, 21, of Phenix City, Smith said. Roberts turned around and stopped her truck, according to police.
Rey worked at the Chevron on Summerville Road, and the collision was about 25 yards from it.
Rey was hit a second time moments later as he laid in Summerville Road, Smith said. That driver, who is suspected to be Duncan, did not stop and left the scene.
Duncan’s vehicle was found at a Columbus repair shop after he took the sedan in because it was overheating due to damage to the radiator, Smith said. Evidence from the car was sent to the state crime lab.
As of Friday, police are still waiting for DNA results from evidence removed from Duncan’s car, Smith said.
“It will be up to the grand jury to decide if a crime has been committed,” Smith said.
Skip Rey still has concerns.
“I am not confident in Phenix City to handle this,” Skip Rey said. “The good, ol’-boy system has been alive too long.”
Davis, who has been the Russell County district attorney for nearly 32 years, said he has not spoken with anyone from the Rey family. But he said he could fairly present the case.
“The fact that I know someone, I don’t think disqualifies me from presenting the case,” Davis said. “I present the facts to the grand jury.”
As the Reys are waiting for the justice system to work, they have been asked by police to remove a memorial to their son that has been in place along Summerville Road since April 19. Thursday night, they took down two signs, one that stated, “Justice for Sean Rey.”
There is a city ordinance that limits the time road-side memorials can remain up.
“I did not put up the memorial, but we added to it,” Skip Rey said. “When I was told to take it down, I read the law and I understand that.”
Skip Rey said he took down the signs that he erected.
“There are memorials all over Phenix City,” Skip Rey said, “but we abide by the law.”