Suspect in women's murders wants veteran's burial

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William Reece wants a veteran's burial, and he won't get one if he gets a life sentence. (KTRK)

As he awaits a decision on plea deals in his alleged murder cases, accused serial killer William Reece told his lawyer he wants to spend eternity in the company of America's heroes.

Over the past two months, William Reece has led police to the remains of two long-time missing women: Jessica Cain and Kelli Cox. Reece is also suspected in two additional cases.

Reece's attorney, Anthony Osso, has been negotiating with Texas and Oklahoma authorities. In exchange for guilty pleas, Osso is pushing prosecutors in both states to take the death penalty off the table.

In an interview with abc13 Tuesday afternoon Osso said one of the reasons Reece is hoping to avoid both life in prison and the death penalty is to preserve his right to a veteran's burial in a national cemetery.

As a young man, published reports suggest Reece served in the Oklahoma National Guard. Burial rules published online suggest capital convictions and life sentences disqualify would disqualify an otherwise eligible vet.

Osso told abc13, "As one prosecutor said to me, it seems like he wants to hold on to that one part of his life where there was some honor... If we negotiate cases resulting in a number of years, whatever that number is, as high as it is, as long as it is not life, then he gets his veteran's burial on his death."

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The body found in a southeast Houston field last month has been identified as missing teenager Jessica Cain.

Calls to the Veterans Administration were not returned late Tuesday afternoon.

Osso adds that Reece knows he will die in prison, but would like to serve his time in general population where he would be eligible for a prison job and be able to interact with other inmates. Death row time is almost always in solitary confinement. Reece has also apparently requested to spend his time in Oklahoma instead of Texas.

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William Reece, 56, was convicted in an aggravated kidnapping, but he's been a suspect in several other disappearances over the years.

If the plea deals come together, Reece would likely plead to the Texas crimes this summer and then be moved to Oklahoma to answer charges there.

Osso has previously said Reece wants to avoid emotionally draining and costly trials. He wants to give victims' families some answers and clear the cases.

An answer to the plea deals could be wrapped up in the next month to six weeks.

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