Jason Reeves to be evaluated for intellectual disability - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Jason Reeves to be evaluated for intellectual disability

Jason Reeves, the man sentenced to die for the murder of Mary Jean Thigpen, is fighting to stay alive.

Some people are automatically protected from being executed. Juveniles and those who suffer from an intellectual disability are included in that group. That's why attorneys for Reeves say he should not die by lethal injection:

The attorney for Reeves asked the court to have him examined by a panel of experts and Judge Mike Canaday has granted that motion.  The experts will evaluate Reeves and his  records to decide if he should be protected from the death penalty because of intellectual disability.  

In his second trial in 2004, Reeves was convicted of the first degree murder of four year old Mary Jean Thigpen in 2001.  The little girl's body was found in a graveyard not far from her home in Moss Bluff.  

"Her life was taken and she can't be here.  I'm her mother and I want to, I want to  be here for her," said Mary Jean's mother, Carin Thigpen Howell.

Howell came to court with her mother, Mary Jean's grandmother, and one of murdered daughter's brothers. Howell admits Reeves' execution would accomplish this:

"Justice has been served," she said, is what she would say upon his death.

 But she says it's not for her to say if he should be put to death.

"I believe that God will see that he gets what he deserves.  And it's not for me to say what he gets, what he deserves. It's only for God to say," said Howell.  

Generally, an IQ around 70 is considered intellectually disabled.

Six months after the murder, Reeves tested 85 on an IQ test but more recently scored 75. Still, Howell doesn't think her daughter's killer has an intellectual disability.

"When he took my Mary's life, I believe he knew full well what he was doing.  He knew he was wrong and he's trying to run and hide from that," said Howell. "I think it's a desperate attempt to save his life."

A psychiatrist and a psychologist have been appointed to examine Reeves and a third expert may be added. The judge ordered Reeves be kept in the Calcasieu jail so the doctors don't have to travel to Angola State Penitentiary  to examine him. The defense plans to appeal that.

A hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, to determine the status of Reeves' claim of intellectual disability. 

Copyright 2014 KPLC All rights reserved

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • BREAKING

    House on Tank Farm Road fired upon twice over weekend

    House on Tank Farm Road fired upon twice over weekend

    Monday, April 24 2017 11:36 PM EDT2017-04-25 03:36:29 GMT
    (Source: Raycom)(Source: Raycom)

    A house on Tank Farm Road was fired upon twice over the weekend, authorities with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said. The first incident happened Friday night, followed by another incident Sunday night, said Cmdr. James McGee, CPSO spokesman. No one was injured. Deputies are following leads, but don’t yet have a suspect or motive. “We are following every lead we get,” McGee said. McGee asked anyone with information to

    More >>

    A house on Tank Farm Road was fired upon twice over the weekend, authorities with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said. The first incident happened Friday night, followed by another incident Sunday night, said Cmdr. James McGee, CPSO spokesman. No one was injured. Deputies are following leads, but don’t yet have a suspect or motive. “We are following every lead we get,” McGee said. McGee asked anyone with information to

    More >>
  • SPECIAL REPORT: Recovery Road - heroin addiction

    Monday, April 24 2017 11:31 PM EDT2017-04-25 03:31:16 GMT
    Heroin EpidemicHeroin Epidemic

    Meet Bobby Boursew. A recovering heroin addict who learned the tricks of the trade from the two people closest to him. 

    More >>

    Meet Bobby Boursew. A recovering heroin addict who learned the tricks of the trade from the two people closest to him. 

    More >>
  • Oyster fishermen fighting tonging bill

    Oyster fishermen fighting tonging bill

    Monday, April 24 2017 8:25 PM EDT2017-04-25 00:25:40 GMT
    (Source:KPLC)(Source:KPLC)

    Tonging is way to fish for oysters using two large sticks. 

    More >>

    Tonging is way to fish for oysters using two large sticks. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly