Private Investigator of the Year

In 2007 Chris Reynolds was awarded the Private Investigator of the Year by CALI for his outstanding work that led to the acquittal of a young man on double murder charges in Guerneville, CA and the dismissal of charges against a man accused of drowing his wife in San Pablo Bay, CA. In the first case, Mr. Reynolds worked to locate and interview the person last in possession of the murder weapon. The government pursued charges against his client, Zach Rutledge since 1998.  Eventually appointed by the Court, Mr. Reynolds tracked down witnesses never contacted by law enforcement.  His tracing of the murder weapon was a key piece of evidence that led the jury to a full acquittal of all charges after one day of deliberations.

In the second case, Corbin Easterlin was accused of drowning his wife during a night on a jetski in San Pablo Bay. After over one year in custody, Mr. Reynolds was retained to conduct the first real investigation of the charges. After reinterviewing the key witnesses and retaining experts in the field of cold water drowning, he was able to secure an interview of the pathologist who initially made the “murder” call. After presenting his evidence, transcripts, photographs, etc. , the pathologist acknowledge he may have misdiagnosed the cause of death. After battling the politically charged district attorney’s office of Sonoma County, the DA (only after winning re-election) quietly dismissed all charges against Mr. Easterling.  For several months the DA refused to accept the findings of his own pathologist and worked to prove Mr. Reynolds work was wrong. It didnot