MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery County Sheriff D.T. Marshal says a suspect is in custody charged with the murder of a Montgomery man and charges are pending on the arson set to cover up the crime.
Harry Reese, 44, "...died of multiple stab wounds," said Sheriff D.T. Marshall and whoever killed him didn't stop there. "It appears the fire was set to cover up the murder," Marshall said.
Thomas Andrew Wagner, 22, of 31 Pinewood Drive, Montgomery was arrested late Wednesday afternoon and charged with Reece's murder.
No motive was given for the murder, the first of 2009 for Montgomery County.
One day after Reece died in his home, Tonya Deardorff still can't shake the image of a man who seemed helpless, an amputee lying on the kitchen floor near his crutch.
"I see him laying there and trying to get him out but the next door neighbor was holding me back," said Deardorff.
The smoke too thick, the fire too intense, help arrived too late to save Reece. Deardorff lives just yards away from Reece. She remembers hearing an explosion, and within seconds the entire home was engulfed in thick, blinding smoke.
"I was praying to God he wasn't in there but he was," said Deardorff.
Neighbors say Harry Reece kept to himself. He didn't venture out much but was more than willing to help his fellow man.
"If you needed to go to the store, he would take you," said Deardorff.
"We're not aware that he had any enemies," said Sheriff Marshall.
Losing a neighbor has shattered the peace of this small quiet mobile home park, especially the manner in how Reece died.
"I'm just letting God take over. He was a very good person," said Deardorff.