Trial begins in Oklahoma City for alleged serial killer

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The death penalty trial for accused serial killer William Lewis Reece is underway inside the Oklahoma County Courthouse.

Reece is accused of raping and killing 19-year-old Tiffany Johnston on July 26, 1997, in Bethany.

Bethany police said they found the newlywed’s Dodge Neon at the Sunshine Carwash near Northwest 23rd and Council. Her keys were still in the car but she was nowhere to be found.

Tiffany Johnston

The next day, her naked body was found in a Canadian County field. The medical examiner said she had been raped and strangled.

After an exhaustive search for the suspect, the case went cold.

In 2015, Investigators said DNA found on Johnston was linked to Reece, who was already serving a 60-year sentence for kidnapping and raping another teen, Sandra Sapaugh in Texas.

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.

Twenty-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.

The defense argues there’s room for error in the prosecution’s case, citing DNA match results, questionable witnesses and the possibility that investigators fed Reece information about the case he would’ve otherwise not known.

Photo goes with story
William Lewis Reece

On Monday, witnesses took the stand to paint a picture of Reece before the alleged murders.

Attorneys read transcribed testimony from a 19-year-old University of Oklahoma student who said Reece sexually assaulted her in Norman in 1986.

Another victim took the stand, saying she woke up one night in bed to Reece on top of her, forcing her to have sex with him. She managed to escape to get help.

At the end of the day, Sapaugh took the stand to share her testimony.

The defense will begin their cross examination into Sapaugh’s story starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

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