Son charged with capital murder, arson in fatal fire

BAILEY, Miss. (WTOK) - Sheriff's investigators say there was no way 84-year Irma Jean Reese, who was confined to a wheelchair, could escape the burning, smoke-filled house.

Michael Reese (Photo Source: Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department)

"It's certainly a sad day that we had a death that occurred, but we're now in that process of holding those accountable who caused that incident," said Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun.

Investigators say her son, 53-year Michael Reese, is responsible for her death. Reese was charged with capital murder and arson.

"We are waiting autopsy results to determine the exact cause of death. However, because of that arson, and because of that death, these charges have been filed against him," said Calhoun.

Reese was also injured in the fire and treated at a burn center in Jackson before his arrest Monday night.

"He was released from a Jackson hospital yesterday, was picked up by investigators, and was brought back to Lauderdale County and was charged," said Calhoun.

Police are still gathering information to determine a possible motive.

"Our investigation as we said earlier is still ongoing, we're still gathering evidence and we normally do not speak to the particulars of an investigation like that and we won't at this time," said Calhoun.

The case will be presented to a grand jury.

Bond for Reese was set at $50,000 for the arson charge, but bond was denied on the capital murder charge.