GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Three years after a Battle Creek couple’s bodies were found, testimony in their landlord’s trial wrapped up Thursday.
Chad Reed is charged with murdering Joseph Soule, 34, and Jaclyn Lepird, 31, in October 2020.
Medical examiners who performed the autopsies on Soule and Lepird were among the final witness testimony. Dr. Ted Brown, a forensic pathologist, explained that Soule’s body, which was found more than a week after he and Lepird were last seen alive, was in a “moderate stage of decomposition.”
The autopsies determined that the two had alcohol and cocaine in their system at the time of their deaths, along with a positive test for COVID-19, but the medical examiners said that they didn’t die from alcohol, drugs or the virus.
Police said Reed admitted he argued with his tenants, shot both of them, then beat and strangled Lepird. He said he then wrapped up their bodies and put them in the back of his truck, which he moved into a garage at an abandoned home in the area.
“There are multiple categories of injuries (to Lepird). So I can’t pick out the ligature and say that was the cause of death. I can’t pick out the gunshot wound and say that was the cause of death, specifically. I need to encompass all of them, in which we’ve discussed, so multiple injuries was the cause of death,” Dr. Jared Brooks, a forensic pathologist, said, adding the manner of death was homicide.
Jurors heard closing arguments Thursday. They will reconvene Friday to continue deliberations.