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Plumas County District Attorney David Hollister admitted that he was a little nervous when he sat down with his family to watch the NBC Dateline segment on the Wallin-Reed murder trial that aired Oct. 18.
“I was really holding my breath,” Hollister said during an interview Oct. 22. “There is the unknown as to what portions of the trial or interview they will use and how your statements will be portrayed.”
But he worried unnecessarily. Hollister was pleased with the result.
“I thought they did a really good job,” he said. “Obviously a five-week trial could not be condensed into a two-hour special, but I thought they did a nice job of at least touching on many of the important parts of the case.”
Gregory Chad Wallin-Reed was convicted Sept. 26 of the July 2011 murder of 20-year-old Rory McGuire, after Wallin-Reed caught McGuire and his friends stealing solar lights from his property.
The segment began by presenting what happened from Wallin-Reed’s perspective. Viewers were introduced to Wallin-Reed, his family and their cabin near Antelope Lake. Wallin-Reed and his wife separately described the events leading up to and during that fateful night.
Then the segment segued into the investigation led by Detective Sgt. Steve Peay, of the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office, as he adeptly gathered and studied the evidence, slowly unraveling Wallin-Reed’s story.
Then it’s Hollister’s turn, and the producers showed footage of the fly-fishing district attorney and touched on his big-city background. NBC’s Keith Morrison interviewed Hollister and the cameras captured his opening and closing remarks.
For those who did not see the segment, it can be viewed on YouTube by searching for Wallin-Reed.
So, what did Hollister’s children, who are 13 and 15, think of seeing their dad on television? “They enjoyed it,” he said. As did his wife.
“I think she was pleased,” Hollister said. “She donated her summer and fall, as did my kids — they were supportive throughout the process.”
He also credited his own staff and those of other agencies for their efforts throughout the case.
“I was so proud of our investigators in the sheriff’s department, my staff, the court staff and the jurors,” he said.
Since the segment aired, Hollister said he has received numerous calls, with all but one being exceptionally positive.
And when he’s out around town, he’s also stopped, even standing in line in Safeway.
Peay, who also was featured prominently in the segment, reported an experience similar to Hollister’s.
Peay watched the segment with his family and he said his children were “pretty excited.”
When asked during an Oct. 24 interview if he was nervous about watching the Dateline program, he said, “I was nervous with the whole interview.”
While Peay has been interviewed on camera in the past, most notably for the television show America’s Most Wanted, he said this experience was different.
Rather than sitting in a staged area, Peay took the producers and talent to the crime scene and led them through the investigation.
Detective Chris Hendrickson also received air time, and Peay credited him, along with detectives Bill Elliott, Mike Smith and Jeremy Beatley, for their work in the investigation.
He was pleased with the way the television show documented the detectives’ work in unraveling what really happened that night.
“Lots of friends and family were thrilled with the footage,” he said.
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