Reece brothers’ case moves ahead

Tim Hudson thudson@examiner-enterprise.com

PAWHUSKA — The murder case against two Pawhuska brothers stemming from the September 2015 slaying of 46-year-old Osage County oilman Rick Holt will continue after the Oklahoma Court of Criminal appeals denied a writ filed by the pair’s attorney.

Jeremy Reece, 32 and Tyler Reece, 20, face charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping Friday. Tyler Reece faces an additional charge of desecration of a human corpse.

The pair had been set for preliminary hearing on July 31, but the date was postponed. According to Osage County court records, the “Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay of preliminary hearing in this case.”

The writ for extraordinary relief was denied Friday, clearing the way for a status date in the case on Friday.

According to Osage County Assistant District Attorney Doug Meritt, the denial essentially says there is no situation that would take jurisdiction away from the case.

“The state has the right to proceed,” he said.

Holt was shot multiple times in September 2015 and buried in a shallow grave on Osage Nation tribal ground near Hominy. When investigators exhumed Holt’s body, it was also found that he had been burned.

Investigators believe the slaying resulted from a confrontation the brothers had with Holt over a romantic relationship he was having with Jeremy Reece’s ex-wife.

Because Holt’s body was found on tribal land, an Osage County judge had originally ruled that the Osage County District Attorney’s office lacked jurisdiction on the murder charges. But the ruling was overturned paving the way for preliminary hearing.

Officials with the U.S Attorney’s Office in Tulsa decided not to pursue federal murder charges in the case, reportedly due to “a lack of definitive proof” that the injuries which caused Holt’s death were inflicted on Indian land.

Their mother of the Reece brothers, Ann Marie Reece, is charged as an accessory after-the-fact in the case. Her next court appearance is set for January 12.

The Reece brothers remain in the Osage County Jail on $1 million bail each.