MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Kerstin Reese was sentenced Tuesday by Judge James Anderson to serve 317 years in prison for the 2016 kidnapping, robbery, and attempted murder of a Montgomery woman.
Reese was convicted in June of attempted murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree criminal mischief.
According to the district attorney’s office, Judge Anderson sentenced Reese to 99 years on each of the attempted murder, first-degree robbery, and first-degree kidnapping charges. He sentenced Reese to 20 years on the first-degree criminal mischief charge and ordered that all sentences run consecutively.
“It is a sentence that sends a message, not only to this defendant, but anyone in our community that’s thinking about committing a crime, that’s out there doing these violent type crimes," said Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey.
The investigation found that Reese and two others burst into the victim’s home. Armed with guns, the trio robbed the woman of jewelry and electronics.
Not satisfied to simply rob their victim, Bailey said they put a blanket over her head, forced her into the trunk of her car, then stole it and fled the area to an abandoned house. Once they’d arrived, the DA says the suspects took the victim inside, took her clothes, and threatened to sexually assault her.
Afterward, Bailey said the woman was put back in the trunk, then driven 15 miles to a field in Pintlala where the suspects beat and strangled her until she passed out.
As the sun came up, the woman regained consciousness and managed to escape from the trunk of her abandoned car. She found her way to Mosley’s Store where she got help from the store’s owner.
As the victim was being helped, the DA says surveillance video showed the suspects driving right past her as she talked with people at the store. The suspects then rushed back to the woman’s abandoned car, set it on fire and fled back to Montgomery, Bailey said.
“She’s very relieved. Obviously this is a traumatic event she will never ever forget. It is hard for her to live by herself. It is hard for her to go on day-by-day. But at least she knows she got justice in that courtroom this morning and that we were working hard to make sure that happened,” said Bailey.
Bailey expressed his appreciation to Deputy District Attorneys Haley Steelman, Scott Green, and Ben McGough for their outstanding work. He also thanked DA Investigators Denny Merritt, and T.D. James for their work on the case as well Agent Mike Myrick, who came out of retirement to testify as the case agent on behalf of the Montgomery Police Department.
Bailey says they will now begin to fight to make sure he is never paroled.
“Everyone in this city is tired of the crime they are tired of the violence," said Bailey. “It is days like today that we can say we did our jobs. The community can say that someone - the DA, the police are trying to help make this community a better place and a safer place for us to live.”
Reese’s co-defendants remain charged and are awaiting trial.