Texas

William Reece is finally on trial for three crimes in Texas

Reese was sentenced to life in prison 25 years ago for killing his 12-year-old daughter, Dostwood, a 17-year-old teenager on Tiki Island and 20-year-old Denton’s mother.

HOUSTON – A serial killer who confessed to kidnapping and killing at least two Houston girls and a young North Texas woman in the 1990s is finally facing justice 25 years later.

William Reese pleaded guilty in the Galveston county today to the murder of 12-year-old Laura Kate Smithher of Friendswood and 17-year-old Jessica Kane of Tiki Island. In both cases, he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

“25 years is too long to wait for justice,” Laura’s mother, Gay Smither, told a news conference. “And there were a few years there that we didn’t really think we’d see today, and we came to the point of resigning.”

In 2016, things went cold until Reece confessed to taking the bodies of investigators Jessica and Kelly. Laura’s body was found a few days after she disappeared in 1997.

CONTACTS: Schedule: Recognized serial killer William Reece and four women killed

CONTACT: The victim’s family responded after the serial killer was sentenced to death in another case

Galveston County Assistant Prosecutor Brent Haynes said Reece had difficulty providing enough evidence to convict him of murder.

“While we’re pretty sure he’s been Reece all these years, today is a confirmation of that,” Gay said.

Until Reece forgave him, Gay said he lived in a “prison of anger and rage.”

“In the end, what he did was right, so it’s very important for me to thank him and say I forgive him.”

FOLLOW: Gay Smither reacts by pleading guilty to the murder of his daughter

Reece was taken directly to Brazoria, where he pleaded guilty to the 1997 murder of 20-year-old Kelly Cox of Denton. The victim’s daughter and mother, Reese, were there when she was sentenced to life in prison.

“It’s true that no punishment can heal the wounds of their families and the communities that love them,” said Jack Toadi of Galveston County. “But these convictions will help ensure that their killer dies in the prison to which he belongs.”

Reece will soon be returned to Oklahoma, where he was sentenced to death for kidnapping and murder in May last year.

KHOU 11 News correspondent Adam Bennett will cover today’s sentencing hearing and will have live updates on our news programs later.

What do we know about the victims

Laura Smither

Laura ran away in the Friendswood neighborhood in April 1997 and never made it home.

His parents and dozens of people joined his search.

Laura’s disappearance was the main story of the news that night – and for many future nights.

The young girl’s body was finally found in Pasadena.

“When Laura went missing in 1997, we prayed a lot for her to be returned to our table. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted, ”Gay said after Reece admitted in 2016. “Our prayers were not answered as we wanted,” he said. But our prayers were answered; Laura was found. “

Tiffany Johnston

In Oklahoma, 19-year-old Tiffany Johnston was abducted in July 1997 from a car wash in Bethany.

The testimony showed that Reece sexually assaulted a newlywed young man in a horse-drawn carriage and then strangled him. His partially naked body was found the next day.

More than two decades later, DNA evidence linked Rice to the crime.

He was convicted of kidnapping and murder last August and was sentenced to death by an Oklahoma City judge.

Kelly Cox

Like Tiffany, Kelly Cox was killed in July 1997 while jumping back and forth between Rice Oklahoma and Texas.

A 20-year-old student at the University of North Texas has disappeared after visiting Denton Prison with some classmates. He was last seen at a gas station on the opposite side of the road.

Reese buried Kelly in Brazoria and in 2016 helped investigators find her body.

Kelly had a child at home, so her mother always knew something was wrong. He said his daughter would never leave her child.

Jessica Cain

Jessica Cain’s family also waited 19 years for answers

The La Marque high school student disappeared in a steamy night in August 1997.

Jessica went home to Tiki Island after attending a high school musical acting party with her friends. He almost succeeded. His car was later found abandoned on the side of I-45, far from home. There was no sign of Jessica.

“It wasn’t a car accident, it wasn’t an accident. It was a terrible, bad thing that happened to them,” said childhood friend Danny Previte.

Jessica’s family finally moved in and they didn’t tell the public about their daughter’s death or her killer.

Smither said he last spoke to them in 2016 when Reece detectives took Jessica’s body.

After his sentence, Gay Smither said he believed there could be other victims and hoped that Reece would confess and close these families.

William Reece is finally on trial for three crimes in Texas

Source link William Reece is finally on trial for three crimes in Texas

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