Convicted serial killer sentenced to death for murder of Oklahoma teen

Local
William Reece

William Reece

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma judge has sentenced a convicted serial killer to death in the murder of an Oklahoma teenager.

In July of 1997, 19-year-old Tiffany Johnston’s Dodge Neon was found at the Sunshine Carwash near N.W. 23rd and Council in Bethany. The newlywed’s keys were still in the ignition but the teen was nowhere to be found.

Tiffany Johnston

The next day, Johnston’s naked body was found in a Canadian County field.

The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner later determined Johnston had been strangled and raped.

According to 2015 records, examiners took vaginal and rectum swabs from Johnston.

In 2015, DNA taken from Johnston was linked back to William Reece. 

At that time, Reece was already serving a 60-year sentence in Texas for the rape and kidnapping of Sandra Sapaugh.

William Reece
William Reece

According to reports, Sapaugh was kidnapped at knifepoint but managed to escape and call police.

Investigators said that crime happened two months before Johnston’s death.

20-year-old Kelli Cox and 17-year-old Jessica Cain’s bodies were not found until 2016, when Reece led Texas investigators to graves where their remains were buried.

Back in Oklahoma, court documents show investigators decided to test Reece’s DNA against Johnston’s unsolved case.

The same court documents show investigators linked payphone records, proving Reece was in Canadian County on the same day Johnston vanished.

Investigators also allege Reece admitted to knowing the teen’s family.

Reece was extradited to stand trial in Oklahoma, where he previously spent a decade locked up for sexually assaulting two women. According to online records, Reece had only been out of prison for one year when the murders occurred.

William Reece
William Reece

During the trial, the jury heard from investigators and even saw a taped confession.

In May, the jury found Reece guilty of Johnston’s murder.

On Thursday, a judge formally sentenced Reece to death for the crime.

Reece’s defense team has indicated that they intend to appeal.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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