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William Lewis Reece sentenced to life in prison for murders of Laura Smither, Jessica Cain



HOUSTON – William Lewis Reece was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to capital murder in the deaths of Laura Smither and Jessica Cain, who were slain 25 years ago.

The convicted serial killer is now heading to Brazoria County, where he is expected to plead guilty to the murder of Kelli Ann Cox.

Reece killed Smither, a 12-year-old from Friendswood, and Cain, a 17-year-old from Tiki Island, in 1997.

He also murdered Cox, a 20-year-old Denton woman, the same year.

Smither was found a few weeks after she disappeared, but Cain’s and Cox’s bodies were not found until 2016.

In 2015, Oklahoma officials used DNA to link Reece to the murder of Tiffany Johnston, and a calling card also put him in the area where she disappeared. After he was charged in her death, Reece looked to cut a deal and started talking about the Texas murders.

At the time of the confessions, Reece was serving a 60-year prison sentence in Texas after kidnapping Sandra Sapaugh from a parking lot in Webster. Sapaugh escaped by jumping out of Reece’s truck as he drove down I-45. Her testimony secured his conviction and he was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Reece was sentenced to death last year in Johnston’s murder.

Reece was sentenced to death last year in Johnston’s murder.


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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.


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