Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: In the late '90s, a coworker broke into a home in south Sacramento, assaulted a young woman and attacked her grandmother with a machete. What was the outcome of his trial?
Submitted by: P.S., Sacramento
ANSWER: Tamecus Reed was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for the machete murder of 81-year-old Soledad Abogado and rape of her 23-year-old granddaughter.
According to stories in The Bee, Reed, a 24-year-old college student, had been drinking at a nearby home on Jan. 4, 1999. Late that night, he wandered to the women's home on Black Branch Court in south Sacramento to talk to them about a mutual friend.
Once Reed got inside, the granddaughter screamed. Abogado tried to grab her machete from her bed, but Reed heard Abogado, ran to her room and struggled with the 80-pound woman.
Abogado was hit twice in the head with the machete. Reed then raped the younger woman as her grandmother died a few feet away.
Reed could have received the death penalty, but the Sacramento County jury that convicted him of 13 counts of murder, rape, burglary, robbery and sexual assault, deadlocked 7-5 in favor of sparing his life.
The jurors said Reed didn't go to the women's home intending to kill them, and he wasn't a hardened criminal with a history of convictions.
Reed, now 35, is at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran.
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