Roommate convicted of murder
July 6, 2005
Sara Stefanini
Staff Writer

A county Circuit Court jury convicted a Gaithersburg man last week of second degree murder -- a verdict that exceeded prosecutors' expectations, the State's Attorney's office announced.

Prosecutors hoped to convict 51-year-old Robert Reyna of manslaughter for stabbing his roommate in the heart in October, said Assistant State's Attorney Alex Foster.

Foster believed the jury decided to up the charge because Reyna was intoxicated the night of the murder and fought with Edward Machado before stabbing him.

"Those two factors -- a drunken brawl -- often end up in a verdict of murder," he said.

Reyna is to be sentenced Sept. 21 and faces up to 30 years in jail.

Samuel Delgado, an attorney for Reyna, could not be reached for comment.

On Oct. 10 around 1 a.m., Reyna and Machado, who shared a home in the 8800 block of Blue Smoke Drive, began arguing in the kitchen about Reyna using vulgar language in front of their women guests, Foster said.

After Machado head-butted Reyna, he went to the garage with his friends, while Reyna stayed in the kitchen.

About 45 minutes later, as Machado went back into the house, Reyna jumped out from behind a door and stabbed him once in the heart, the prosecutor's office said.

As police arrived, Reyna was heard screaming "I hope you die," the office said. Police found Machado dead when they arrived.

Reyna and Machado had moved to Gaithersburg together from Texas, Foster said.

When Reyna took the stand during his five-day trial, he told the jury that the stabbing was accidental, Foster said.

When the jury announced the verdict after deliberating for two days, Foster said he was "very gratified and very happy for the family that had come in from Texas."