Local News in Brief : 2 Men Plead Guilty to Assault After Accident

Two men pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges in connection with an assault on a Canyon Country family whose van they had rear-ended at a traffic light.

Karl Allen Reynolds, 25, of Reseda pleaded guilty to shooting at an occupied vehicle and, under a plea-bargain arrangement with prosecutors, faces a sentence of three years in state prison. Joseph Melton Thornhill, 27, of Lancaster pleaded guilty to possession of a deadly weapon and faces a sentence of a year in jail.

The incident occurred about 4 p.m. July 9 at Soledad Canyon and Whites Canyon roads in Canyon Country. A 1987 Ford van driven by Michael Prevo and carrying his wife and two children was stopped at a traffic light when it was rear-ended by a 1970 Cadillac driven by Thornhill, according to court documents.

When Prevo got out to check for damage, Thornhill got out and walked toward him with a knife, according witnesses. As Prevo retreated, Thornhill punched him in the mouth, Deputy Dist. Atty. Harold S. Lynn said.


Prevo got in the van and, as he was driving away, he heard a loud noise and saw a back window shatter. Witnesses said Reynolds, who was a passenger in Thornhill’s car, had fired a pistol. A bullet was found lodged in the window molding, a police report said.

Reynolds had also been charged with assault with a firearm, and Thornhill initially was also charged with brandishing a weapon. But those charges were dismissed under the plea bargain.