Reagan's boots and jacket still in place as life stands still for grieving family
His football jacket and boots are hanging in the conservatory, his car parked in the garden and the towel he left after his last shower, untouched.
Reagan Asbury’s tragic death has left a gap his family will never be able to fill.
- 'I want justice for my Reagan': Heartbroken mother fights back tears as verdict rocks family
A murder conviction would have helped them come to terms with his death, they say. It would have brought closure, but without it they are back to moment the 19-year-old died.
The teenager’s home, a converted garage in the family’s back garden in Pelsall, is as it was the fateful evening he left to watch a boxing match.
“I can’t clean anything, because I’m scared I’ll wash him away,” says his mother Helen, surrounded by framed pictures of her popular son.
“I feel like he should still be coming to walk through the door in any moment.”
From football to boxing
The nightmare unfolded on October 14 last year on what should have been a happy day.
Reagan had played for his football team, Pelsall United where he had overcome his fear of taking penalties, scoring the winning spot kick in a victory for his team.
He returned home beaming. And later he got ready to go out with friends to Walsall Town Hall and watch a boxing match.
He was last seen by his mother getting into his girlfriend Georgia’s brother’s car, smiling from ear to ear. But later things would go very wrong.
Helen said: “I didn’t realise my sister and her husband were at the boxing and I got a text of my sister to say is Reagan there.
“I texted Reagan and said your auntie is there, she’s on the balcony, have a look for her.
“He didn’t reply.
“I sent a couple of question marks and then 10 minutes later and his last text message to me was ‘I’ve just seen her’.
“I then got into bed, we were dropping of and get a phone call from my sister to say Reagan was hurt and he was hurt bad and get to the town hall as quick as we can.
“When I heard the news I was calm, I was calm in the car and Julian [Reagan’s father] drove as fast as we can, got outside the town hall, I was still calm.
“I saw him on the floor, paramedics were all around him. His heart had stopped so he had already lost 20 minutes of oxygen to his brain.
“They restarted him and he had another cardiac arrest when he got to hospital. The life support was then turned off. I broke down.”
Reagan was declared dead that night at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital after a failed blood transfusion the following night.
Killer takes flight
CCTV showed Andrew getting in a car outside the venue and returning home to Derby.
The 22-year-old drug dealer, who had a previous conviction for wounding with intent, using a knife, left the country the next day.
He was arrested and bought back where he faced trial for murder. The jury cleared him of murder and found him guilty of manslaughter.
He was jailed for 14 years. But could be out in seven.
Declan Kemp-Francis, aged 23, of Derby, was acquitted of violent disorder but found guilty of assisting Andrew by driving him to Derby.
Ryandeep Sidhu, 22, also from Derby, was found guilty of assisting Andrew by taking the knife. Both were jailed for 30 months.
Sentencing Andrew, Judge Simon Drew QC said: “You [Andrew] ran up behind him and stabbed him to the neck. The blow was deliberate and focused.”
WATCH: Reagan's family speak out
The stabbing took place following a fight between supporters of boxers local fighter Luke Paddock and Derby-based Myron Mills at Walsall Town Hall on October 21.
Reagan’s father Julian, aged 51, said of the jury’s veridct: “It felt like Reagan’s life meant nothing.
“We can’t accept that. The case gives the green light for knife crime.”
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