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'He's Not Sorry,' Suspected Serial Killer Sentenced To Death For 1997 Murder Of Teen

William Lewis Reece has been sentenced to death for the murder of Tiffany Johnson, one of the four girls he's accused of killing.

By Gina Tron
William Lewis Reece Ap

A suspected serial killer has been sentenced to death for one of the four murders he’s been accused of committing nearly 25 years ago.

William Lewis Reece, 62, was sentenced to death last week for the 1997 murder of 19-year-old Tiffany Johnston.

Oklahoma County District Judge Susan Stallings asked Reece on Thursday if he’d like to say anything before she handed down his sentence. He replied with a loud “no,” The Oklahoman reported.

"There's an old saying in the law, 'Justice delayed is justice denied,'" Stallings then said. "Justice will not be delayed any longer in this case. I sentence you to death."

Stallings’ sentence reflects a June jury decision in which the death penalty was recommended.

Johnston was the daughter of Reece’s mother’s best friend. She vanished from a car wash in Bethany, Oklahoma in 1997. Investigators believed Reece stalked her before her kidnapping and then killing her. He was convicted of both first-degree murder and kidnapping in June. Jury deliberated for just one hour. During the trial, Reece’s defense never debated that Reece killed Johnston. However, they argued that Reece had only confessed to the killing because a Texas Ranger told him that doing so would help him avoid a death penalty sentence. 

Reece is accused of killing three other women in Texas, murders he has also allegedly confessed to. He was charged in Galveston County in 2016 with the kidnapping and killing of two other teen girls in the same area — 17-year-old Jessica Cain and 12-year-old Laura Smither. Reece also allegedly confessed to killing 20-year-old Kelli Cox, a student at the University of North Texas. Cain, Smither, and Cox were all killed in 1997. 

Reece was already serving a 60-year prison sentence in Texas for kidnapping when he led police to the remains of Cain and Cox. He confessed to all four murders hoping that, in turn, prosecutors wouldn't seek the death penalty.  

Reece plans to appeal his sentence, according to The Oklahoman.

"He's not sorry," Johnston's mother, Kathy Dobry, told the outlet. "He's just a serial killer. He doesn't care about anyone but himself."

She added, "I believe in God and all that but I will never forgive him. And I'm glad people can. But not this momma."