Accused serial killer sentenced to death for Oklahoma teen’s murder


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A jury sentenced accused serial killer William Reece to be put to death for the 1997 murder of Tiffany Johnston.

It only took the jury one hour and 45 minutes to reach their verdict.

Reece’s defense attorneys asked the jury to show him grace and only hand down a sentence of life without parole.

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Tiffany Johnston

Last week, the jury found Reece guilty of killing 19-year-old Johnston at the Sunshine Carwash in Bethany in 1997.

The medical examiner previously testified the newly-wed had been bound, raped and strangled by Reece’s hands, then a rope.

During the three weeks in the courtroom, the jury heard multiple taped confessions of Reece describing how and why he murdered Johnston along with three other young women in Texas around the same time.

Jurors decided prosecutors proved the 19-year-old’s death was violent, cruel and extremely heinous. They also agreed Reece tried to avoid prosecution of the crime by hiding her body in a Canadian County field.

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William Reece

Prosecutors also argued Reece is a continuing threat to society. They argued Reece only stopped committing crimes because he was convicted of an aggravated kidnapping between the murders.

Earlier in the day, defense attorneys called a former fellow inmate to the stand who claimed Reece came to him saying he was going to confess to the murders and give the families closure.

Three other Oklahoma County Detention Center employees also testified Reece is a model prisoner, only getting into one altercation during his time at the Detention Center.

Earlier in the week, a psychiatrist who tested Reece testified he has a lower than average IQ level and suffers from PTSD.

Several of Reece’s family members also testified he was passed from home to home growing up and was raised by a verbally and sometimes physically abusive mother.

“We are so happy he got [the] death penalty,” said Kathy Dobry, Johnston’s mother. “Because this was for Tiff, even though it helped families in Texas. But it was for Tiffany.”

Prosecutors claimed we will never know how any of the four girls truly died because of several holes in Reece’s confessions.

Reece’s formal sentencing is set for August 19, 2021.

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