Judge denies bail for man accused of killing wife, sons

August 21, 1993|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,Staff Writer

Michael Antonio Reese Sr., 26, accused of slaying his wife and two young sons, will remain in jail until his trial, Judge G. Darrell Russell Jr. ruled yesterday in Baltimore County District Court in Towson.

Rhonda Lynn Reese, 24, and the couple's children, Michael Antonio Reese Jr., 7, and Kenneth Raynard Reese, 3, were found stabbed and bludgeoned to death early in the morning July 30 in their rented Essex townhouse.

Police found the bodies after relatives discovered notes Mr. Reese left for his mother and sister in which he wrote of his great pain at the breakup of his family and that he was going to commit suicide. Mr. Reese worked in the commissary at the House of Correction in Jessup.

According to court documents, Mrs. Reese was found on the living room floor stabbed in the abdomen and covered with a blanket. The boys, their heads and faces wrapped with duct tape, lay under a sheet in the second-floor hall. A bloody hammer and knife and a roll of tape were found in the living room.

About an hour after the discovery, Mr. Reese eluded city police after a brief car chase ended in the Pimlico area. He was arrested Aug. 11 after he stabbed himself in the chest while barricaded briefly inside a friend's Northeast Baltimore apartment. He was admitted to Francis Scott Key Medical Center and was released to police Thursday.

Court documents said Jane Watkins, Mr. Reese's mother, called Baltimore County police when she learned about the note left at her house. Mr. Reese left a similar note for his sister, Sharon Rowell and her husband, Aaron, with whom he had been living for about a month.

In the notes, printed neatly on pages from a spiral-bound notebook, Mr. Reese wrote of his pain at his inability to prevent the breakup of his family. He said he loved his wife and children and his other relatives and asked for forgiveness and prayers.

"The pain I was suffering was much greater than anyone could ever come to understand. I loved my wife and family and I wanted so bad for us to be together. I knew it would never be, not only because Rhonda said so but because I felt it. I have killed my family and I'm going to do the same to myself," Mr. Reese wrote to his mother.

His note to Mrs. Rowell was similar. "I thank you for all you have done for me but the pain is too much. I love both of you with all my heart and I'm sorry to say you will never see me alive again. So to Sharon this is my last turkey face. . . . I wish it didn't have to be this way but I've already kill [sic] my family and I want to join them and momma in heaven."

The defendant, who prosecutors said has no prior record, declined to say anything in court yesterday. Earlier Mr. Reese told a representative of the public defender's office that he has retained a private lawyer but no attorney was in court with him when bail was denied at yesterday's hearing.

S. Ann Brobst, chief of criminal prosecutions in the state's attorney's office, said the case will be presented to the grand jury in about three weeks.

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