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Texas Man Convicted of Killing Fourth Wife

August 20, 1996 GMT

MERIDIAN, Texas (AP) _ A retired Army sergeant has been convicted of murdering another one of his wives, this time spouse No. 4, a Filipino mail-order bride whose remains were found a year after she disappeared.

Jack Reeves, already serving a 35-year sentence for murdering his second wife, was sentenced to another 99 years in prison Monday for killing Emelita Reeves, 26.

Reeves, 56, picked Emelita as his wife from a catalog within a year after his third wife drowned in 3 feet of water. He has not been charged in that death.

``He’s very sick,″ said his half-sister, Pat Goodman. ``I believe that he has quite a few of the qualities listed for a psychopath.″

In 1978, authorities said Reeves’ second wife, Sharon, killed herself with a shotgun by pulling the trigger with her toe. The disappearance of Emelita Reeves, however, led Arlington Detective Tom LeNoir to reopen the case, and his efforts led to murder charges against Reeves.

In January, a jury convicted Reeves of murder in Sharon Reeves’ death.

In 1994, Emelita Reeves disappeared from the couple’s Arlington home. A year later, a hunter found her partially buried remains near Lake Whitney, but investigators were unable to determine how she died.

At trial, Emelita’s friends said she told them shortly before she vanished that her husband beat her and that she was planning to leave him. They also said she could no longer stand his peculiar sexual habits.

Although prosecutors built their case on circumstantial evidence, juror Jill Hutyra said she was swayed by testimony that Reeves destroyed evidence and that he made trips to Lake Whitney the day after Emelita disappeared.

``All the evidence pointed to Jack Reeves,″ she said.

Reeves’ lawyer, Wes Ball, said the case was based on ``speculation″ and that he would appeal. Reeves is also appealing his conviction in Sharon Reeves’ slaying.

Reeves’ first marriage, to a 15-year-old when he was 18, was annulled.

His third wife, Myong Reeves, who met her husband when he was stationed in South Korea, drowned during a 1986 fishing trip at Lake Whitney. The death was ruled an accident. Her family demanded an autopsy, but Reeves had the body cremated.

Authorities said the case would not be reopened.