Reese to go on trial for life in deaths of wife, 2 sons Appears in court on his birthday BALTIMORE COUNTY

September 15, 1993|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writer

Michael Antonio Reese Sr. appeared in Baltimore County Circuit Court on his 27th birthday yesterday and learned that prosecutors will seek the death penalty against him on charges of murdering his wife and two young sons.

Mr. Reese appeared solemn as Judge Thomas J. Bollinger read the charges and the names of the victims: Mr. Reese's wife, Rhonda Lynn Reese, 24, and sons, Michael Antonio Reese Jr., 7, and Kenneth Raynard Reese, 3. All were found stabbed in their Essex townhouse July 30.

The defendant, a commissary employee of the state Division of Correction, also is charged with burglarizing the family home on Spicewood Court. He had separated from his wife and moved out of the house about two months before the murders. Neighbors said that he occasionally returned to baby-sit with the children.

Defense attorney Howard Miliman declined to comment on the charges or the death-penalty notice. Mr. Reese has no criminal record, he noted.

The prosecution alleges that during the early hours of July 30, Mrs. Reese arrived home and was attacked with a hammer, then stabbed. The children were told that she had fallen and hit her head. Then their eyes and mouths were taped shut, and they were stabbed to death. Baltimore County police found the bodies when they went to the home at the request of Mr. Reese's mother, who they said told them that her son had threatened to kill his family and himself.

Prosecutors said Mr. Reese left notes at his mother's and his sister's homes saying that he had killed his family and planned to kill himself.

About an hour after the bodies were discovered, the suspect sped away from a Baltimore patrolman who stopped him for running a red light on North Avenue at Howard Street at 9:45 a.m. He eluded police for nearly two weeks.

On Aug. 11, police finally cornered Mr. Reese at an apartment in Northeast Baltimore. Mr. Reese barricaded himself inside, then stabbed himself in the chest, police said.

He has been held since without bail -- and under a suicide watch -- at the Baltimore County jail.

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