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Reginald Lenard REEVES

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: September 5, 1993
Date of arrest: 5 days after (surrenders)
Date of birth: April 21, 1974
Victim profile: Jenny Lynn Weeks (female, 14)
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Red River County, Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on May 9, 2002
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Summary:

On September 9, 1993, the body of 14 year old Jenny Lynn Weeks was discovered in the closet of an abandoned home in Clarksville, Texas. She had been bitten, raped, beaten, and strangled to death.

Four days earlier, she had earlier run away from a group foster home, and was befriended by Reeves. A search of Reeves' home revealed a purse containing the diary of Weeks.

Saliva, blood, pubic hair, head hair, and teeth impressions on the body and clothing of Weeks were consistent with Reeves, who bragged to friends that he had beaten and killed a 14 year old.

Final Meal:

Four pieces of fried chicken and two Cokes.

Final Words:

In a lengthy final statement, Reeves apologized repeatedly. "I do apologize with all my heart and soul. I apologize for taking the life of your daughter, and I know how much pain you must be in. Today, this does not bring you peace because this is not really the way. I want you to know I do love you. We're all one big family in humanity."

ClarkProsecutor.org

 
 

Texas Attorney General

Media Advisory

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Reginald Lenard Reeves Scheduled to be Executed.

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Reginald Lenard Reeves, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2002.

On Oct. 5, 1994, Reginald Lenard Reeves was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Jenny Lynn Weeks in Clarksville, Texas, on Sept. 9, 1993. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows:

FACTS OF THE CRIME

On the evening of Sept. 9, 1993, Charlene Cathcart observed two figures carrying what appeared to be a roll of carpet into an abandoned and partially burned house across the street. Ms. Cathcart returned to her home and telephoned the police.

Clarksville police investigators responded to the call and arrived at the abandoned home around midnight. The officers surveyed the abandoned dwelling. In a hallway closet they found the body of a young female, 14-year-old Jenny Lynn Weeks.

The chief medical examiner for Dallas County noticed numerous injuries consisting of bruising and abrasions to Jenny's face, neck, chest, knees, legs, ankles, buttocks, and back; fingernail marks on the neck, consistent with an attempt to free herself from a stranglehold; and broken or cracked fingernails on both hands, also consistent with defensive injuries.

The medical examiner noted that the back of Jenny's shorts and underwear were "blood-soaked" with a "significant amount of blood." Hairs were recovered from her right buttock, pubic area, leg, and clothing. Toxicology reports indicated that she had an ethanol level of .05 percent, which is one-half the level of legal intoxication.

An internal examination revealed multiple hemorrhaging of Jenny's skull and neck. The neck injuries were indicative of "significant" pressure having been applied, and the medical examiner concluded that the cause of death was strangulation. Based on the totality of his examination and his own past evaluations, the medical examiner believed that the sexual activity was more consistent with "forced" sexual activity than with consensual activity.

On the evening of Sept. 10, Reeves, accompanied by his mother, turned himself into the police. The following day, the other potential suspect, Ralph Brown, also turned himself into the police. Reeves' apartment was subsequently searched.

The apartment was neat and orderly, as if it had just been cleaned. A pair of shorts, a bed sheet and a pillowcase were found in a laundry basket inside a closet and taken into custody. A gym bag was also found in the closet and seized. Inside the gym bag was a purse containing a diary and other items bearing Jenny's name. Hairs were collected from the bedroom floor, the bed sheet and the pillowcase.

Saliva, blood, pubic hair, head hair, and teeth impressions were taken from Reeves and Brown. Forensic analysis revealed that the head hair recovered from Jenny's leg and a pubic hair recovered from her buttocks were consistent with Reeves' hair samples. None of the hairs recovered were consistent with having come from Brown. The bite mark on Jenny was consistent with having been made by Reeves, to the exclusion of Brown. Blood found on Jenny's T-shirt was consistent with Reeves' type, also to the exclusion of Brown.

Evidence also revealed that Jenny had known Reeves for less than a week at the time of her death. Sharon Forte, 17 years old at the time of trial, related that she was living in a group foster home in Paris, Texas, in September 1993, where she met Jenny.

On September 5, Forte and Jenny agreed to run away from the foster home and travel to Forte's home in Clarksville. As planned, the two left the foster home on the evening of September 5 and walked to a nearby Wal-Mart, where they met Forte's boyfriend, Raymond Jackson.

Jackson drove the two to his mother's house in Clarksville. During the next day or two, Reeves, a friend and cousin of Jackson's, came to Jackson's house where he met Jenny. Reeves offered for Jenny to stay at his apartment and Jenny agreed.

On the night of the offense, Jackson went to Reeves' apartment on two occasions. On the first occasion, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Jackson stayed for about five minutes. At that time, Reeves and Jenny were sitting at home, listening to music. Jackson returned to Reeves' apartment at approximately 9:30 p.m., this time accompanied by Forte, and stayed for about 15 minutes.

At that time, Brown was also present at the apartment and all were drinking beer. Jackson took Reeves aside and asked him about the situation with Jenny. During this conversation, Reeves denied a sexual relationship, saying Jenny was like a sister to him, and stated that he planned to take her to Dallas so she could visit a boyfriend.

On the night of the offense, Stratrice Carreathers, 20 years old at the time of trial, was visiting with friends near a school building located approximately one-half mile from Reeves' apartment.

Shortly after midnight, Reeves approached the group as they were discussing a man's possible suicide at a vacant house in the area. Reeves said he had not heard about it. As the group prepared to go their separate ways, Reeves told Carreathers that "it wasn't an old man that had committed suicide ... it was a girl."

When asked how he knew, Reeves said because "he had done it" and identified the victim as a "fourteen-year-old girl." Reeves said he had choked, strangled and punched the girl. Although Reeves had a few scratches on his arms, Carreathers did not believe Reeves and told Reeves that he was lying and had probably just been drinking. Carreathers did not, however, smell alcohol on Reeves or notice any signs of intoxication.

Arlene Chilton, 16 years old at the time of trial, was Jenny's best friend. Chilton identified the diary recovered from Reeves' apartment as one she had given to Jenny. Chilton identified the handwriting in the diary as Jenny's.

On Sept. 4, 1993, Jenny wrote that she met a girl named Sharon, who was planning on running away the next day and who told Jenny that she would help her get to Dallas.

On Sept. 6, 1993, Jenny wrote that she had run away the night before and was hoping to "get to Dallas soon."

On Sept. 7, 1993, Jenny wrote that she was "at another place," was "kinda lonely but very happy," and was not afraid.

On Sept. 9, 1993, the victim wrote that she was "very happy," "lonely for everyone back home," "listening to oldies music," and that she would "be in Dallas soon."

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On July 21, 1994, the trial court granted a change of venue from Red River County to Bowie County, where Reeves pleaded not guilty. On Oct. 4, 1994, the jury convicted Reeves of capital murder. After a subsequent hearing on punishment, and based on the jury's answers to the special punishment issues, the trial assessed punishment at death by lethal injection.

Upon automatic review of Reeves' conviction and death sentence, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the judgment and sentence in an unpublished opinion dated Oct. 23, 1996. On Dec. 9, 1996, the Court of Criminal Appeals refused Reeves' motion for rehearing as untimely. Reeves did not file a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.

Reeves filed an application for state writ of habeas corpus on Aug. 18, 1997. The state habeas court issued findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending that relief be denied. After determining that the findings were supported by the record, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied habeas relief on Feb. 18, 1998.

Reeves next filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Aug. 24, 1998. The district court, on Reeves's own motion, dismissed the case on Oct. 2, 1998. Reeves then returned to state court, where he filed a second application for state habeas relief. The Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the application as an abuse of the writ on Feb. 3, 1999.

Reeves filed a second petition for habeas relief in federal district court. The district court entered final judgment denying federal habeas relief on Nov. 16, 2000. Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit followed. On Jan. 4, 2002, the Fifth Circuit upheld the district court's judgment denying Reeves federal habeas relief. Reeves did not file a motion for rehearing in the Fifth Circuit.

On April 4, 2002, Reeves filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court challenging the Fifth Circuit's denial of relief. On May 6, 2002, Reeves filed a motion for stay of execution with the Supreme Court.

CRIMINAL HISTORY

Reeves had a brief criminal history prior to the murder of Jenny Lynn Weeks. In July 1985, Reeves, who was 11 years old at the time, assaulted two boys, ages seven and five. Reeves forced the boys to pull down their pants, when the boys complied with this demand, Reeves stuck a sharp stick into their rectums. As a result of these offenses, Reeves was placed on informal probation with juvenile authorities.

In November 1990, Reeves was again placed on informal probation with juvenile authorities. Leading up to this probation, Reeves' mother had contacted police and juvenile authorities on several occasions and asked them to speak with Reeves about his "unruly" behavior. The informal probation agreement was eventually imposed when Reeves assaulted his mother and followed with an assault on another individual.

 
 

ProDeathPenalty.com

A convicted killer was executed by injection Thursday for the 1993 fatal beating and rape of a 14-year-old girl he befriended after she ran away from a group foster home.

In a lengthy final statement, Reginald Reeves, 28, apologized repeatedly. "I do apologize with all my heart and soul," he said as the victim's mother nodded. "I want you to know I do love you. We're all one big family in humanity."

Reeves surrendered to police in Clarksville in northeast Texas in 1993 a day after the body of Jenny Lynn Weeks was found stuffed in a closet of a vacant home.

Medical examiners determined died of strangulation. "She was chewed on, bitten, raped and sodomized, then severely beaten, beaten to death, then wrapped up in a rug and dumped in an old abandoned house," Red River County District Attorney Val Varley said.

In the final entry in her diary dated Sept. 9, 1993, Weeks wrote of being a bit lonely but otherwise happy living at Reeves' apartment. She was killed later that day.

Testimony showed Weeks was in a group foster home when she joined another resident, a 17-year-old girl, who was running away to Clarksville, about 30 miles away. The other girl met up with her boyfriend, a friend of Reeves, who offered to share his apartment with Weeks and she agreed.

 
 

Texas Execution Information Center by David Carson

Txexecutions.org

Reginald Lenard Reeves, 28, was executed by lethal injection on 9 May in Huntsville, Texas for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.

In September 1993, Jenny Lynn Weeks, 14, and Sharon Forte, 17, ran away together from the group foster home where they were living. Forte's boyfriend, Raymond Jackson, drove them to his mother's house, where they all stayed for a day or two.

During that time, Jackson's cousin, Reginald Reeves, 19, came to the house and met Jenny Weeks. He offered for her to stay at his apartment, and she agreed.

On the fourth night after the girls ran away, Weeks and Reeves spent some time sitting in his apartment, listening to music. Raymond Jackson came over for about five minutes, then left. Ralph Brown, 18, a friend of Reeves', then came over, and the three started drinking beer. Later, Jackson came over again, this time with Sharon Forte. According to Jackson, he and Forte left after fifteen minutes, at about 9:45 p.m.

Later that night, a neighbor observed two people carrying what appeared to be a roll of carpet into an abandoned and partially burned house across the street. She called police.

When police arrived at the house, they found the body of Jenny Weeks rolled up inside a rug and left in a closet. She had numerous bruises and abrasions on her face, neck, chest, legs, ankles, buttocks, and back. She also had fingernail marks on her neck and broken or cracked fingernails on both hands.

The medical examiner said these marks were consistent with someone attempting to free herself from a stranglehold. Weeks' shorts and underwear were soaked in blood, and her T-shirt was also bloody. An examination found hairs on her pubic area, buttock, leg, and clothing. She had multiple hemorrhages on her skull and neck. The medical examiner concluded that the cause of death was strangulation and that sexual activity had occurred, which was most likely forced.

The evening after Weeks was killed, Reginald Reeves turned himself in to police. Ralph Brown turned himself in the next day. Inside Reeves' apartment, police found a gym bag containing a purse, diary, and other items belonging to Weeks. Saliva, blood, pubic hair, head hair, and teeth impressions were taken from both Reeves and Brown. Blood, hair, and bite marks taken from Weeks' body were matched with Reeves. No physical evidence was found to link Brown to the crime.

At Reeves' trial, a witness named Statrice Carreathers testified that she was outside in the area with friends on the night of the murder. She said that her friends were discussing a man's possible suicide in a vacant house that night when, shortly after midnight, Reeves approached the group. Carreathers testified that Reeves told her "it wasn't an old man ... it was a girl," and that "he had done it." Reeves described how he had choked, strangled, and punched "a fourteen-year-old girl," and, although Carreathers noticed some scratches on his arms, she didn't believe him at the time.

At 19, Reeves had never been imprisoned, but he did have a juvenile record. At age ten, he assaulted and sexually abused two boys, ages seven and five. At age 16, he assaulted his mother. He was placed on informal probation both times. A jury convicted Reeves of capital murder in October 1994 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction and sentence in October 1996. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.

 
 

Killer Dies After Long Apology

Houston Chronicle

Associated Press - May 9, 2002

HUNTSVILLE -- An apologetic convicted killer was executed Thursday for the fatal beating and rape of a 14-year-old girl he befriended after she ran away from a group foster home.

In a lengthy final statement, Reginald Reeves, 28, apologized repeatedly and preached forgiveness. "I pray we may all learn to love and forgive and have peace in this world," he said while strapped to the death chamber gurney.

Reeves had a history of assaults as a juvenile but no adult criminal record when he surrendered to police in Clarksville in northeast Texas in 1993, a day after the body of Jenny Lynn Weeks was found stuffed in a closet of a vacant home.

Weeks' mother, father and stepfather were watching a few feet away and Reeves turned to look directly at them. "I do apologize with all my heart and soul," he said as the victim's mother nodded.

As the drugs began taking effect, he gasped, sputtered and took a couple of breaths before he stopped moving. He was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m., 10 minutes after receiving the lethal injection. He was the 11th Texas prisoner put to death this year. Two more condemned killers are on the execution schedule for next week.

 
 

Reeves Put to Death in Murder of 14-year-old

By Lisa Bose McDermott - Texarkana Gazette

May 10, 2002

Reginald Reeves apologized to Jenny Lynn Weeks' family for killing the 14-year-old in a long statement just minutes before his execution Thursday at a state prison facility in Huntsville, Texas. Reeves, 28, of Clarksville, Texas, began making his last statement before a mix of his own family and Weeks' family four minutes after solution began flowing through his right arm.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review Reeves' case or stop the lethal injection. No final-day appeals were filed for Reeves.

His final statement began at 6:10 p.m.: "I pray that we may all learn to love and forgive so that we can have peace in the world. It is with loving and forgiveness and learning to love and loving to live that we can learn the power of forgiveness and learn to live as brothers and sisters on this earth," Reeves said. "Until then, this will continue to happen-capital punishment; and if we don't forgive, sooner or later we will self-destruct."

During his lengthy statement Reeves apologized repeatedly and preached forgiveness. The convicted killer was executed for the fatal beating and rape of a 14-year-old girl he befriended after she ran away from a group foster home. Weeks' mother, father and stepfather were watching a few feet away and Reeves turned to look directly at them. "I do apologize with all my heart and soul," he said as the victim's mother nodded. "I want you to know I do love you. We're all one big family in humanity. "I apologize for taking the life of your daughter and I know how much pain you must be in because I saw my own family today", Reeves said. "And although my pain is not as deep as yours, I am very sorry. Today, this does not bring you peace because this is not really the way." Reeves then addressing the prison warden said, "I will see you on the other side. Thank you for your hospitality."

The toxic combination of drugs began flowing into Reeves' body two minutes into his statement. It flowed for four minutes and he was pronounced dead 10 minutes after the dose began. Earlier in the day, the guard's log shows that Reeves spent Wednesday reading and writing. On Thursday, he packed up his belongings, and had about two hours of time with his family. He ate a last meal of four pieces of fried chicken and two Cokes.

Reeves' victim was a runaway from Gun Barrel City, Texas who had been acquainted with Reeves. A the time of her death, she had fled a Paris, Texas group home. Clarksville police found Weeks' body stuffed in a closet of an abandoned home. She had bruises on her face and teeth marks on her stomach. Blood that matched Reeves' was found on Weeks' shirt.

Reeves' case was tried in Bowie County because pretrial publicity caused a perceived bias in Red River County. Former District Attorney Jack Herrington and Assistant Texas Attorney General Lisa Tanner tried the case before 102nd District Judge John F. Miller Jr.

 
 

TEXAS: Lawyer hopes to save condemned man's life.

March 18 - Abolish Archives

Reginald Lenard Reeves' lawyer says he will try to spare his client's life by filing last-minute appeals to Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of staying the execution. "We're going to file everything--a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court, a clemency--the works--and maybe a habeas in state court as well," said Mike Charlton, Reeves' court-appointed lawyer. Reeves, 27, of Clarksville, Texas, is slated to die on May 9 in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's death chamber in Huntsville, Texas.

Reeves raped and killed 14-year-old Melissa Weeks, of Paris, Texas, on Sept. 9, 1993. The case was moved from Red River County to Bowie County for fear of a bias against Reeves. On Oct. 5, 1994, Bowie County jurors convicted Reeves and returned a recommendation that he die for Weeks' murder. District Judge John F. Miller Jr., who presided over the original case, recently set Reeves' execution date because Reeves has exhausted the typical appellate routes. Charlton said until he was notified by the Gazette, he was unaware that Miller had set an execution date for Reeves.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears less than 1 % of all states' death penalty cases annually and Charlton acknowledged Reeves' chances are slim. "It is tough when you get to this stage but he's got some claims that I believe need to be heard that have never been heard. I'm not all that certain that he's guilty of capital murder," Charlton said. He believes the case against Reeves was overcharged. "There was enough evidence to suggest that it's not capital murder," Charlton said. The Weeks murder case was one of the 1st ones in Northeast Texas to rely on DNA evidence, which locked Reeves' conviction in the case.

 
 

Reginald Reeves: Killed by the state of Texas on May 9, 2002

Deathrow.at

Reginald Reeves was executed Thursday night at 6:22 in the Huntsville "Walls" Unit death chamber. Reeves was the 11th Texas prisoner put to death this year. No final-day appeals were filed, and the United States Supreme Court refused to review his case or stop the lethal injection Thursday.

Witnesses to the execution were the victim's mother, Sherry Delamar, her father, Larry Weeks, and her stepfather, Randy Delmar. Reeves's spiritual advisor, Adriana Breidenstein, and TDCJ chaplain Vance Drum were also in attendance.

In his last statement at 6:10 p.m., Reeves spoke at length of forgiveness and love. "I pray that we all may learn to love and forgive so that we can have peace in the world," he said. He then addressed the victim's family saying, "I apologize for taking the life of your daughter and I know how much pain you must be in because I saw my family today."

Sherry Delmar nodded in recognition as Reeves spoke. The victim's family chose not to comment following the execution. Reeves thanked the warden and his spiritual advisor, and after a long silence, said his last words to his mother: "I love you mother."

Reeves was convicted of the 1994 murder of Jenny Weeks and sentenced to death the following year at age 19. Reginald Reeves committed the murder after running away from a group home, four days prior to the crime. He had no past criminal record. Please contact the state of Texas to protest the execution of this youthful offender.

Words from a friend of Reginald Reeves: Well, an old friend of mine is scheduled for execution in Texas (of course) on May 9, 2002. I just wanted to tell you a little bit about him. His name is Reginald Reeves. He is funny and smart. Reggie grew up in a very poor community, where most kids really don't have much of a chance. He has a large family that loves him dearly. They have all forgiven him for his crime. Reggie loves music. We used to write each other, and in every letter he sent to me, he talks about a new song that has touched him in some way. One of his favorites use to be "I Believe I Can Fly." Reggie quit writing me a few years ago. He withdrew from everyone. I believe he is just trying to make it a little less painful for us all. I miss Reggie, and I will always remember our friendship.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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