San Diego

Man Accused of Killing Ex-Girlfriend at Stop Light Appears in Court

Widman's family described her as a talented and devoted mother who dedicated herself to helping troubled youth

Prosecutors say they haven't established a motive in the deadly shooting of a mother of two at a Skyline stop light last month, but say the victim and the man accused of killing her once dated.

Sylvianita Widman, 27, was shot Aug. 25 at the intersection of South Meadowbrook Drive and Skyline Drive.

According to prosecutors, Widman was and a passenger in a male friend's car when they stopped behind 38-year-old Robert Haywood Reed's Mercedes at the light. Widman and her friend came upon Reed's car by happenstance, the prosecutor said.

Widman got out of the car for unknown reasons and was yelling as she approached the passenger side of the Mercedes, Deputy District Attorney Amy Colby said.

Officers found Widman in a nearby parking lot suffering from a gunshot wound. She was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital where she died about an hour after the shooting, according to San Diego Police Department Lt. Matt Dobbs.

Prosecutors said the shooting was captured by a nearby surveillance camera, and another camera caught allegedly spotted Reed in a liquor store before the shooting..

SDPD identified Reed as a suspect in the killing on Aug. 30 and he turned himself in Sept. 6

At Reed's arraignment Thursday, prosecutors say he and Widman dated for about a month and were ex-boyfriend and girlfriend.

Reed pleaded not guilty to murder and is being held on $1 million bail. If convicted, Reed could face 50 years to life in prison.

Reed's family was in the courtroom Thursday, as was the victim's aunt.

Widman's family described her as a talented and devoted mother who dedicated herself to helping troubled youth. 

“She talked to the kids who were from troubled homes who needed help. I couldn’t stop her from doing it. Anybody that needed her, any time of day, she was gone,” her mother Regina Lilliard said.

Anyone with information about the shooting can contact the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

“She was loved by everybody. But there were people that hurt her, and this last person did something that you can’t take back. And he knew she had two babies.

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