On February 18, 2015, married couple Cindy Kaye Henderson Reese and Michael Reese had returned to their Alabama home after church and dinner when Cindy shot her 40-year-old husband dead, execution-style.
Afterward, Reese popped out for groceries, and on her return, she began to turn the furniture upside down and trash her home in an attempt to make the crime scene look like a robbery that had gone wrong.
Her ruse didn’t fool the cops for long though, as they quickly began to suspect that Reese and her boyfriend, a Baptist preacher called Jeffrey Brown, were actually responsible for the murder.
The pair were arrested a month after the killing as Brown was dropping off Reese after a lunch date. Police say they murdered Michael so that they could be together.
However, the two lovers quickly turned against each other as they tried to rest most of the blame for the murder on each other.
Brown testified that Reese would repeatedly talk of killing her husband and had said she would plead insanity if she were ever caught.
Brown claimed that Reese had shot her husband and then given him the .38 revolver to dispose of, which he dumped along a highway. He also admitted to attempting to hire two of his coworkers to do the dirty work for Reese, but they refused.
Whereas when Reese took the stand, she referred to Brown as an “obsessed lover” who became angered when she had refused to divorce Michael. She claimed to have never discussed killing her husband and to have ended her relationship with Brown a few weeks before the shooting.
Reese’s attorney even argued that Brown had been the gunman, killing Michael after lying in wait for an hour at their home.
In 2016, Brown decided to make a deal with the prosecutors; he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and received a lesser sentence of 20-years.
Reese was found guilty of murdering her husband and was sentenced to 40-years in prison.
However, in 2019, just three years into her sentence, Reese was released into a work-release program in Birmingham, Alabama, in a move that brought outrage and consternation from the victim’s family and the law officers who had worked to get her looked up.
More from Southern Gothic
Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on Southern Gothic
Clancy Jones was a Memphis police officer who had begun an affair with Phyllis Malone. They got into an argument at a gas station late one night after Malone told him she was pregnant, and she threatened to tell his wife. He shot 3-times at point-blank range.
Jerry McFadden called himself “The Animal,” and he terrorized people for two decades, continuously raping and murdering his victims. When he escaped from jail, he triggered the biggest manhunt in Texas history.
Southern Gothic airs Mondays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.