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.
Four pieces of fried chicken and two Cokes.
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
Texas Attorney General
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Reeves Put to Death in Murder of 14-year-old
By Lisa Bose McDermott -
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
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,
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
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
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
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.