Friends and family of 21-year-old Chase Reel, gathered together on Friday afternoon October 9, as they laid their friend and loved one to rest. Reel was a 2018 Russellville High School graduate, a long time member of the First United Methodist Church and he attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he was a junior level business and finance major. When his life was taken on Saturday, October 3rd, Reel was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Reel was murdered during the early morning hours after arriving at his home located near the 2500 block of West Cornerstone in Fayetteville.

Upon arriving at his residence, Reel discovered an unknown man inside his home, holding his friend at gunpoint.

According to the Fayetteville Police Department, after he was dropped off at his house early Saturday morning, Reel was unable to enter his residence because he did not have his keys. While attempting to get inside his house, Reel saw his friend and another male inside and observed that the unknown man was holding his friend at gunpoint. After seeing what was transpiring behind the locked doors, Reel went to the rear of his residence and kicked in the back door, gaining entry into the house. Reel then went to his bedroom, got a rifle, and returned to the living room where he confronted the armed suspect. Upon confronting the man later identified as Travis Nole Trustin, 24 of Fayetteville, Trustin shot him once in the chest with a pistol.

As Reel was attempting to get into his house, officers with the Fayetteville Police Department were dispatched to the West Cornerstone home after 911 dispatchers received a call reporting a man with a gun was in the home. As officers responded, the dispatcher advised that while speaking to the 911 caller, he heard a gunshot. Once officers arrived on scene, they found Trustin, who was being held down by friends of Reel in the back yard of the residence. Inside the house, officers located Reel who had succumbed to a gunshot wound to his chest.

At that time, Trustin was placed into custody and transported to the Fayetteville Police Department where he was interviewed.

Officers began their investigation of the crime by speaking to the first victim, Reel’s friend, as well as other witnesses on scene.

According to a report, the first victim stated he entered the home and discovered Trustin had broken in. Trustin then held him at gun point for approximately 30 minutes prior to Reel arriving home. The first victim advised officers that following the shooting, he attempted to wrestle the gun away from Trustin and began striking him in the head with the gun in the back yard of the residence. Trustin was tackled and held at gunpoint by Reel’s friends until officers arrived.

During an interview conducted by Fayetteville Police, Trustin admitted he entered the residence through the garage of the home that had been left open. Trustin said a male arrived at the house and once he entered the residence, Trustin held him at gunpoint. After some time, Reel arrived home and was trying to get into the house.

As the interview continued, Trustin told police that he shot one of the victims with a pistol that he had taken from one of the bedrooms inside the house. Trustin then advised after he shot the male, he ran out of the house but was tackled to the ground and held until officers arrived on scene.

According to the report, while conducting the interview at the police department, Trustin opened the interview room door and attempted to flee. Trustin was taken to the ground by officers and restrained in handcuffs.

Trustin is facing several charges, including Capital Murder, Aggravated Residential Burglary, Kidnapping and Second Degree Escape.

Trustin appeared before a judge in a bond hearing on Monday, October 5, where probable cause was determined in holding him on the felony charges and during the hearing, Trustin was denied bond.

Trustin will appear in an arraignment hearing on November 6th at the Washington County Courthouse where he will enter his plea against the charges.

According to Washington County’s 4th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Durrett, at the time of this story, formal charges had not been filed yet,

While obtaining information concerning this story, it was discovered that since 2014, Trustin has committed several criminal offenses and has a fairly extensive criminal history. At the time of the shooting on October 3rd, Trustin had three cases pending.

According to court records, on October 7, 2014, Trustin was arrested in the State of Iowa for the charges of Armed with Intent, Harassment and Assault Causing Bodily Injury. At the age of 20, (in March of 2016) Trustin was incarcerated at an Iowa State Prison for an aggravated misdemeanor charge and for Possession of Contraband in a Correctional Facility. Trustin was scheduled to be released from custody on April 10, 2018.

On July 1, 2019, a judge granted a Fayetteville woman an Order of Protection against Trustin and two days later, on July 3, 2019, Trustin was arrested by Fayetteville Police for Possession of a Controlled Substance and Third Degree Battery.

On July 31, 2019, Trustin was arrested and charged with two felony counts of drug possession. Count one was Possession of Methamphetamine (less than 2 grams), count two was Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Meth, Cocaine, Heroin and Fentanyl) and in less than a month, on August 19, 2019, Trustin appeared in court before a judge and entered a plea of guilty on the charges. In return for the guilty plea, Trustin was sentenced to 48-month supervised probation and not serve time in jail.

In October of last year, Trustin was again arrested and charged with Theft by Receiving. Upon his arrest he was found to be in violation of probation because he was found to be in possession of a weapon and drugs, and had failed to report to probation authorities as required by law and for fleeing.

The following month, in November 2019, Trustin signed a “conditions of probation” document for the guilty pleas he previously entered and was ordered four years probation. Along with the probation, Trustin was ordered special conditions that included entering a substance abuse treatment program, to submit a DNA sample, to remain on good behavior and to not commit any new violations of the law.

Despite the probation order, Trustin was arrested yet again on December 26, 2019 for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia after he was found to be in possession of “two cut straws and a plastic baggie, all containing methamphetamine residue on them.” The arrest was following a December 8, 2019 incident in Fayetteville. Trustin was out of jail on pretrial release awaiting his next appearance in court that was set for March.

Prior to his appearance in court, on February 20, 2020, Trustin was booked into the Carroll County Jail in Eureka Springs for Failure to Appear and Failure to Pay Fines on a misdemeanor warrant on the original charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Although many questions remain unanswered concerning the October 3rd shooting death of Chase Reel, the Fayetteville Police Department continues their investigation of the incident to obtain answers to the questions many friends, family members and others in the community have.

River Valley Now offers our prayers and condolences to friends and family of Chase Reel.

As additional information is released concerning this story, River Valley Now will update readers.

Chase Corbin Reel of Russellville, Arkansas | 1999 - 2020