OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On the final day of testimony in the death penalty trial for William Lewis Reece, jurors heard a taped interview uncovering a crucial detail in Tiffany Johnston’s 1997 death.
In the video, Reece can be heard telling Texas Ranger Jim Holland he used the Sunshine Carwash in Bethany on July 26, 1997, after a loose oil filter sprayed grease all over his truck and horse trailer.
While spraying his white dually pickup truck and trailer, Reece said 19-year-old Johnston confronted him, accusing him of spraying her with water.
Reece said harsh words were thrown back and forth and led to a full-on fight.
During the struggle, Reece confessed to throwing Johnston in the trailer, snapping off her cut-off jean overalls and raping her.
In the taped interview, Reece said when he turned to walk away, Johnston grabbed a horseshoe and hit him in the back of the head.
Reece said he became enraged and strangled Johnston with his hands then with a rope used to lead horses.
To get rid of her body, Reece said he drove to a Canadian County field and laid her in the tall grass to be discovered the next day.
Up until this part of the trial, Reece denied the rape.
When Johnston’s unsolved case was reopened in 2015, DNA found on Johnston’s body was linked back to Reece.
Reece is also accused of killing Laura Smither, Jessica Cain and Kelli Cox in Texas around the time Johnston was killed.
Earlier in the week, the jury heard another taped confession in which Reece detailed Kelli Cox’s murder.
Reece said he bumped into Cox at a gas station in Denton, Texas.
When the two collided, Cox spilled her soda on both of them. Reece confessed insults were thrown back and forth, he slapped her then strangled her in the gas station parking lot.
In the taped confession, Reece also explained a new detail in Laura Smither’s death in Friendswood, Texas.
Previously, Reece told investigators he was driving his truck on a rainy day. When he tried to fix his windshield wipers he felt a thud on his side mirror. He got out to assess the damage and saw the girl lying dead in the street with her head nearly turned backwards.
Today he changed the story.
Reece said when he got out of the truck he found her screaming in a ditch. He went over to her, grabbed her face to get her attention and felt a pop in her neck. She was dead.
Reece said he quickly put the girl in his truck, drove to a retention pond, took off her clothes and dumped her body.
The Texas Ranger also explained how Kelli Cox’s remains were recovered in a Texas rice field and how Jessica Cain’s bones were found in a field near a Houston bar.
At the end of the day on Thursday, the prosecution rested.
The defense said it does not plan to call any witnesses to the stand.
Closing arguments begin Friday morning at 9 a.m.