Stephen Page and James Brewer, two of three suspects charged in connection with the 2011 shooting death of 71-year-old Solomon Reese, pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder while armed and related robbery offenses.
Police found Reese June 27, 2011 at approximately 9:30 p.m. in his apartment on the 2300 block of Good Hope Road Southeast suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
Brewer, 27, and Page, 20, were arrested less than a month later and charged with first-degree felony murder in connection with Reese’s death. A third suspect, Anthony Thomas, 25, pleaded guilty in October to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in connection with Reese’s death.
The three co-defendants were indicted last year on 13 counts of first-degree felony murder, obstruction, conspiracy, burglary and armed robbery of a senior citizen, court documents state.
A superseding indictment in the case alleged that Thomas, Page and Brewer met on July 9, 2011 to discuss the case prosecutors had against them. In that conversation, the three conspired against Dwight Hicks, who they thought could provide information about the case to police. The following morning, Hicks was found shot in Capitol Heights, Md, court documents state.
According to plea documents, the night Reese was killed Thomas, Brewer, Page, and Hicks entered the lobby of Reese’s apartment complex and took the elevator up to the seventh floor. The four then exited the elevator, and Thomas, Brewer and Page entered Reese’s apartment. Reese was a military veteran who supplemented his retirement by selling cigarettes to neighbors in the community, court documents state.
When Reese’s wife, Erika, attempted to enter the apartment, which she shared with her husband, it was shut closed from the inside. After hearing scuffling inside the apartment, she began to scream, documents state.
Brewer then opened the door and pulled Reese’s wife inside the apartment and threw her toward a living room sofa, court documents state. As she continued to scream Thomas put a blanket over her mouth to muffle her screams. Reese then grabbed Thomas, causing Page, who was holding a pistol, to shoot Reese several times.
The three men then took two bags and left Reese’s apartment, ran down the stairs to the basement level, and exited the rear of the building, documents state.
An autopsy found that Reese died of multiple gunshots to the chest, abdomen and right thigh, documents state.
Plea documents state that detectives obtained video footage that shows the four men entering the apartment building and then gathering by the elevator on the first floor. Seven minutes later Brewer, Page and Thomas are seen moving quickly out of the basement level stairwell carrying two bags, court documents state.
Documents state that witnesses overheard Thomas admit to entering the apartment building to “rob the cigarette man.”
Brewer and Page are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Herbert Dixon on Jan. 17, 2014.
Plea documents have been added to this post.