A jury in Oklahoma recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of the kidnapping and murder of a woman more than 20 years ago.

The jury on Wednesday recommended the maximum penalty for William Lewis Reece, convicted last week of first-degree murder for the 1997 kidnapping and killing of 19-year-old Tiffany Johnson. The sentencing hearing will be held on August 19.

Reece did not testify at trial, but the jury heard tapes of his confessions to police in which he admitted to killing Johnson and three other people in Texas, The Oklahoman newspaper reported.

Johnston, Kelli Cox, 20; Jessica Cain, 17; and Laura Smither, 12, disappeared within a four-month period in 1997 after Reece had been released from prison in Oklahoma, where he served sentences for rape and kidnapping.


Smither’s body was found shortly after he disappeared, but Cox and Cain’s remains were not discovered until 2016, when Reece began cooperating with prosecutors.

“We are happy with the death penalty,” said Johnson’s mother, Kathy Dobry.

Several massage parlors were targeted in the attacks that left them dead.

“Even though it helped families in Texas … it was because of Tiffany,” he said of the ruling. “After 24 years and 10 months, it was time for Tiffany.”

Reece’s attorney, Jacob Benedicto, did not deny that Reece had murdered Johnson, but said that his client only confessed because a Texas Rangers agent promised him that prosecutors would not seek the death penalty.

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