Michael Reese, 40, was shot and killed at his home in Morris, Ala. On February 18, 2015. Almost a month later, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Reese’s wife Cindy Kaye Henderson Reese, and Jeffrey David Brown, accusing them both of the murder of Michael Reese. Dateline NBC explores the case in today’s episode.
Detectives said they found evidence that Cindy Reese, who worked with the Jefferson County Finance Department, was having an affair with Brown, the church’s pastor, and decided to kill her husband so the two could be together, reported CBS42 in season.
After the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office announced the charges against Reese and Brown, Deputy Chief Randy Christian told AL.com: “I think we all understand the issues of the heart and the ups, downs, ups and downs of relationships. What we can’t and never will understand is that someone becomes so twisted, dark, and lost that they believe cold-blooded murder is the answer. However, we are here with three families ruined by dark hearts, stupidity and extreme selfishness. ”
Reese told investigators he called 911 after going to the supermarket and returning to find the house looted
On February 18, 2015, Cindy and Michael Reese attended church and Cindy Reese initially told detectives that she had visited a local store afterwards. When she returned home, she told them she found out the house had been looted and called 911 around 8 p.m., Mirror reported. When police arrived at the scene, they found the body of Michael Reese, who had been shot, in the kitchen at the back of the house.
Christian told AL.com detectives found no indication of forced entry and nothing was missing from the house.
During Reese’s trial, as reported by AL.com, the prosecution argued that when the couple returned home from church, she shot her husband in the back of the head, described by the prosecutor of Jefferson County, Danny Carr, as an “execution-like murder.” Reese then went to Piggly Wiggly, bought some groceries and headed home, where she set up the place to look like a robbery before calling 911, prosecutors said.
In December 2016, Reese was convicted of murdering her husband after 90 minutes of jury deliberation, the vehicle reported.
Brown and Cindy Reese had an affair for a while before Michael Reese’s murder, but Brown ended up testifying against his ex-partner
According to their obituary, Cindy and Michael Reese had been married for five years. He was Cindy Reese’s second husband and the two met after her first husband died by suicide. The couple, who were a regular member of the local church, led peaceful lives until 2013, when Brown became the church’s senior pastor, Mirror reported.
Brown and Cindy Reese, who was in charge of music in the church, started a business that was eventually uncovered by other church leaders. Brown left his post before the news reached the whole town and it was not clear if Michael Reese was aware of his wife’s case. According to the news agency, after Brown stepped down as pastor, Cindy Reese gave him money for the car and the apartment.
Reese and Brown, who separated sometime after his arrest, told different stories during Reese’s trial. Brown, like Reese, was charged with murder in 2015, killing by shooting, but Brown pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2016. In exchange for his guilty plea, Brown was sentenced to 20 years in prison and accepted to testify against Reese during his trial, AL.com reported at the time.
Brown testified to the prosecution that Cindy Reese often spoke of wanting her husband dead and once asked him to hire a murderer. Brown said he tried to hire two men, but they refused, AL.com said during the trial. He also said that Reese often brought up the idea of poisoning her husband. The former pastor has denied having had sex with Reese.
During the trial, Reese said she loved her husband and didn’t want him to die. She admitted to having an affair with Brown, but said Brown was angry about not divorcing her husband. She said Brown shot and killed Michael Reese after hiding in the back of his house and ambushing him, the channel said during his trial.