The chilling story of the L.A. law student who was shot in the back of the head while walking along a midtown sidewalk has taken a strange, melodramatic turn. Former All My Children star Tonya Pinkins, who also won a Tony award for her performance in Jelly’s Last Jam, has a personal connection to the victim's mother, and she tells Showbiz 411, "Their enemies list is huge." Long, melodramatic pause with a close-up on Pinkins narrowing her eyes aaaaand... cut to commercial.
Tonya Pinkins (Getty)
“I’ve been trying to get the FBI, the US attorney to do something about this family for five years," Pinkins says. Victim Brandon Woodard's mother Sandra McBeth Reynolds is currently married to Pinkins’s ex-boyfriend and the father of her 16 year old daughter. “Sandra cashed my child support checks that he supposedly sent to me. I have copies of all the receipts and her signature,” Pinkins tells Showbiz 411. McBeth Reynolds and Pinkins's ex-boyfriend now have custody of her 16-year-old-daughter.
As part of her ongoing feud with Woodard's mother, Pinkins started the website www.sandramcbeth.info, which is filled with what she claims to be public documents that paint a negative portrait of her enemy. McBeth Reynolds sued her to get the website taken down. (McBeth lost, and has since created her own website.) Pinkins says McBeth "would sell properties to Brandon [Woodard] and then he would default on them. The number of people they burned, and people who lost their homes, is huge."
So yeah, it's a hell of a rabbit hole, and it's unclear if Woodard's mother has anything to do with the NYPD's investigation. The department has sent detectives to Los Angeles to search Woodard's home and other leads. One police source tells the Post that given Woodard's criminal history—he's been arrested 20 times, mostly in California—investigators were exploring whether the murder was drug related. "We’re also looking into his ties to the entertainment industry," said the source. "He ran a small promoting business, and the address comes back to his home. We’re looking to see who his clients were.”
Woodard with his daughter.
Woodard’s mother said her son had planned to stay in NYC two days to visit a friend, and that he'd asked her to pick him up at the airport Monday night. Woodard had checked out of the fancy 6 Columbus hotel near Columbus Circle not long before he was killed. Police found three telephones in his possession after his murder. “I don’t know what happened,” Woodard's mother tells the Times. “We don’t know why anyone would harm him. We have no idea. He didn’t have any enemies. Not one. He liked to tell jokes. He liked to have his friends over to entertain.”
Neighbors in LA say Woodard, who has a five-year-old daughter and was enrolled as a law student at University of West Los Angeles Law School, was a hard-partier who blared rap music at all hours. He had a court date next month on a charge of cocaine possession. In 2008 he was busted for shoplifting from upscale shops in Beverly Hills, and in 2009, he was sentenced to three years’ probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of hit-and-run driving.