Man found with dismembered wife convicted of 3 felonies

3 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Thursday, January 31 2019 Jan 31, 2019 Thursday, January 31, 2019 2:56:00 PM CST January 31, 2019 in News
By: Sarah Plake, CNN

Olathe, KS - Justin Rey was found guilty in a Johnson County Courtroom early Thursday morning. After a three-day trial, he was convicted of aggravated child endangerment, child misconduct, and sexual exploitation of a child. He will be sentenced on those charges March 27.

PREVIOUS: Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Sarah Hill told the jury what Justin Rey did after his wife allegedly died in childbirth with a picture he took on his phone.

“Two hours after her mother died, is placed on her mother's breast to nurse,” said Hill.

Hill brought up specific points in her closing arguments on day three to argue why Rey should be found guilty on two counts each of child endangerment and child misconduct.

“Her toothbrush is sitting in her mother's decomposing bodily fluid,” said Hill.

Rey claims his wife, Jessica Rey, died in childbirth at WoodSpring Suites hotel in KCMO. He admitted days later he cut up her body and carted her remains in coolers to a Lenexa U-Haul storage facility, where he stayed the night with their newborn and toddler. He was arrested the next day on Oct. 24, 2017, before police even knew what was in the coolers.

Police say he had minimal supplies for the children, and they were among bags on top of Jessica’s remains.

The day after Jessica died on Oct. 21, an ambulance showed up to the hotel for an unrelated call. Detective Shannon Murphy testified Rey told her he thought about getting help but didn’t, because he knew his kids would be taken away.

Investigators testified Rey had multiple opportunities to seek help but chose not to.

“Bad parenting is not to be treated by a criminal court,” said Rey’s defense attorney W. Scott Toth.

Toth argued that the dismemberment issue is "polluting" the trial, and the jury should not consider it because it happened in Missouri.

“He took matters in his own hands, and we saw the gross, graphic evidence of that Monday afternoon, we all know that. But what does that have to do with his children?” said Toth.

Hill said Rey’s actions in Missouri and how it carried over to Kansas shows what the children went through.

Throughout the trial Toth tried to argue Rey’s actions were due to his Christian Science beliefs, however Judge Brenda Cameron ruled the testimony never showed that.

Toth switched gears in his closing argument to say Rey is mentally ill, but it doesn’t make him a criminal.

Rey’s parental rights may be taken away in a separate case.

Rey is also facing three charges relating to hundreds of child porn searches and four saved images found on his phone in October 2018. Murphy said investigators had gotten permission from Rey to search the phone. She said she wanted to find the pictures Rey took of Jessica’s dead body propped up with her children. She came across the sexually explicit pictures of girls who appeared to be under 18.

Toth argues no one can be certain that he actually did it.

Rey took the stand to insist he didn't. He said he was asleep when the pictures were viewed, around 2:15 a.m. on Oct. 19.

“Well, there's only two other people in the room who are adults, so are you telling us it's your wife looking at this information?” Hill asked.

“I’m not telling you who it is, cause I don’t know. All I know it's not me,” said Rey.

Rey alluded he thought police had planted the images.

Detective Shannon Murphy, of the Lenexa Police Department, was questioned about the information found on Rey’s phone from the date Oct. 20, 2017, the day the baby was born, to Oct. 24, 2017, the day he was arrested.

At 1:56 p.m., he texted someone to ask for a ride from work at Ponak’s restaurant so he could go deliver his baby.

Rey’s phone also contained a text from Jessica at 2:25 p.m., reading “It’s girl.” It is not certain if she was alone while giving birth.

However, in a notebook police recovered, Rey wrote the time of the baby’s birth was 3:25 p.m. He also wrote “RIP Jessica” at 8:45 p.m.

It was pointed out that Rey’s job at Ponak’s on Southwest Boulevard was a bit of a drive to the hotel where the family was staying, near the stadium complex.

After she died, his search history shows he looked up “newborn baby cow’s milk,” and texted people asking them to bring him baby formula.

Jessica's sister, Sarah Monteiro, has created an online petition to "make willful dismemberment and mutilation to a human illegal as a federal law."

More News

Grid
List
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma was bracing Wednesday for more rain, with parts of the state already flooded following days... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 11:50:05 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Many roads across mid-Missouri are closed due to recent storms and heavy rain, and with more storms... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 11:37:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas paid out-of-state law firms at least $899,000 in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to defund... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 11:09:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin-based convenience store chain Kwik Trip has removed some vegetable trays from its stores after several... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 9:36:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - NASCAR is buying International Speedway in a deal worth about $2 billion. International Speedway... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 9:27:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A judge has reversed the Missouri Department of Public Safety's revocation of the peace officer... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, May 22 2019 May 22, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 8:51:00 AM CDT May 22, 2019 in News
ROCHEPORT - A community effort to hold back flood waters began in Rocheport Wednesday morning. With recent rain causing... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's corrections officers are some of the lowest paid in the country. That's created staff shortages, leading... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A severe storm in the St. Louis area is forcing Lambert Airport to temporarily halt all... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:51:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
FULTON - After three years and $140 million in construction, the Fulton State Hospital is ready to start celebrating. ... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:33:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - People looking for work will have a chance to mingle with about a dozen employers at a hiring... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 5:39:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri River could crest over flood stage because of ongoing storms, according to Jefferson City's Department of... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 5:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY -- Several abortion rights groups gathered throughout the state, Tuesday to protest Missouri's newly-passed anti-abortion bill. The... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:49:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency Tuesday due to the heightened flood risks through a large... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:49:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in Weather
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Sand volleyball courts at a park in Cape Girardeau are closed after knives were found buried... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:14:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Emergency Management Director Tom Hurley said the department's staff is "all hands on deck" for Tuesday's... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:02:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Two MU students getting their masters in atmospheric science launched weather balloons Tuesday at the South Farm Research... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 1:46:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley is introducing legislation to give internet users the ability to... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, May 21 2019 May 21, 2019 Tuesday, May 21, 2019 12:22:00 PM CDT May 21, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
11pm 72°
12am 71°
1am 71°
2am 71°