Charges added in murder case

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Charges added in murder case

Telephone communications — particularly text messaging and GPS-location capabilities — are forming a significant portion of the of case being built against two Pawhuska brothers who are charged with murdering well-known Osage County oilman/rancher Rick Holt.

A memorial service was conducted Friday for Holt, a 46-year-old lifelong local resident who disappeared Sept. 5. Hundreds attended the event at the Osage County Fairgrounds’ indoor arena.

Authorities recovered Holt’s body from a clandestine burial site northwest of Hominy on Sept. 10. His death has been ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner’s office..

First-degree murder charges were filed last week against Jeremy Keith Reece, 31, and Tyler Wayne Reece, 18. The brothers also are charged with kidnapping and desecration of a human corpse in connection with Holt’s disappearance and slaying. Both of the men have been held, without bond, since their separate arrests on a related charge of conspiracy to commit a felony.

Last Wednesday, the mother of the two suspects also was arrested. Ann Marie Reece, 46, is charged with “accessory after a felony has been committed.” She was released the following day on a $50,000 bond and is due back in court Oct. 23.

The seemingly inexplicable death of the popular rancher and oilfield production manager has sent shock waves through the local community. Holt allegedly was killed as the result of an early-morning altercation at his rural Pawhuska residence.

Holt went missing over the Labor Day Weekend. Osage County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation Sept. 8 into the disappearance of the former two-time state wrestling champion.

Affidavits filed in the case indicate investigators interviewed Jeremy Reece after having first spoken with his ex-wife, Claudette Reece. The woman told OCSO Deputy James Hunter she had been in a “dating relationship” with Holt for the past two months, the affidavit states. She also said “her ex-husband (Jeremy Reese) had been attempting to reconcile with her and was angry at the victim (Rick Holt) believing he (Holt) was preventing the two from getting back together, according to the affidavit.

An arrest-warrant affidavit in the case against Ann Reece alleges she used electronic communication to instruct her younger son (Tyler Reece) to destroy evidence in the case. It also states that officers who were serving a search warrant at Jeremy Reece’s residence observed Ann Reece outside of the residence at the time one of the electronic message was sent.

Tyler Reece was a co-salutatorian of the Pawhuska High School Class of 2015. He also had been a standout player for the PHS Huskies’ football team. The younger of the brothers reportedly was arrested in Edmond, where he had been attending classes at Central State University. Reece was jailed on a conspiracy charge Sept. 9 — the day before Holt’s body was recovered from a site authorities were led to by tracking information from his brother’s cell phone.

According to the affidavit filed by Hunter, Jeremy Reece took officers to the area where the body was found. The affidavit claims Tyler Reece’s cell phone “reflected the same location on it as well.” Texts which were exchanged between the brothers during the hours preceding Holt’s death are also described in the affidavits.

On Sept. 23, Special Judge Stuart Tate entered not guilty pleas for both of the brothers, who are scheduled to be back in court on Thursday afternoon.

Tate also made a ruling related to an application by the Osage County District Attorney’s office seeking undisclosed records from Truity Federal Credit Union in Bartlesville and Earth Networks/Weatherbug, a commercial climate-sensor network. The judge ordered that subpoena information for the credit union information to remain sealed for as long as six months, or until further ordered by the court.