Cindy Kaye Henderson Reese killed her husband, Michael Reese, on February 18, 2015, just after they returned home from church in Morris, Alabama. After fatally shooting him in the back of the head, Cindy Reese went to buy groceries then turned their home upside down to make it look ransacked and called 911, AL.com reported. A month later, she was charged with his murder, along with her pastor and lover, Jeffrey David Brown.
While Brown pleaded guilty in exchange for the lesser sentence of manslaughter, Reese went to trial, where prosecutors argued that Reese killed her husband so that she could pursue a relationship with Brown, according to AL.com’s trial coverage. In 2017, a jury found Reese guilty after 90 minutes of deliberation.
Where is Cindy Reese today? Is she in prison?
Reese Was Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for the Murder of Her Husband & Has Since Appealed the Sentence
According to public records with the Alabama Department of Corrections, Reese was sentenced to 40 years on January 11, 2017. She is not eligible for parole until 2030 and is serving her sentence at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, a facility in Wetumpka, Alabama, that has the capacity to hold 975 inmates.
Reese filed an appeal shortly after her sentencing and claimed that she should have been acquitted due to a lack of evidence that she killed her husband, AL.com reported. She also indicated that the court should have instructed the jury to consider a manslaughter charge. On August 11, 2017, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied her appeal and upheld her sentence, writing that “the State presented sufficient evidence from which the jury could conclude that Reese murdered Michael,” according to AL.com.
It’s unclear if Reese intends to file another appeal. Heavy reached out to her attorney but did not hear back in time for publication.
The Alabama Department of Corrections Was Criticized in 2019 for Moving Reese to a Work-Release Program in Birmingham
In June 2019, AL.com reported that Reese had been sent to a work-release program in Birmingham after serving less than three years of her 40-year sentence. Reese, who was found guilty in 2017 by a jury of killing her husband, was sentenced to 40 years. However, AL.com found that earlier in 2019, Reese had been moved from Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women to a Birmingham work-release program.
The outlet reported that the work-release center is close to not only those who investigated and prosecuted the case against Reese but also Michael Reese’s family. In addition, the outlet wrote that Michael Reese’s family was not notified of the transfer. His father, Earl Reese, said, “It makes me sick, to be honest with you.”
Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr also criticized the decision:
The jury and judge heard evidence of this woman planning a murder of her husband and then she carried out the plan in an execution-style killing. … It’s a travesty of justice that this woman would be allowed to serve the remainder of her sentence outside a prison and in a work center as DOC has allowed. It’s a disgrace that our state would consider this new placement after only serving less than three years of her sentence.
At the time, an Alabama Department of Corrections spokesperson told AL.com that Reese hadn’t received an assignment in the community and she was there temporarily. Since then, Reese was transferred back to Tutwiler, although her custody status still indicates “Minimum-out.”
A spokesperson with the Alabama Department of Corrections told Heavy in an emailed statement that despite Reese’s custody status, she “does not leave the property for off-site job assignments,” nor do any other inmates at Tutwiler. The spokesperson also clarified that “a minimum custody level classification does not necessarily mean that the inmate in question will be housed in a minimum-security facility. In some cases, minimum custody level inmates are housed in maximum-security facilities.”