Chastinea Reeves was 15 years old when she murdered her mother, Jamie Garnett, inside their home in Gary, Indiana.
On Feb. 13, 2017, officers with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to a home in the 4400 block of West 23rd Place to conduct a welfare check after a neighbor made a 911 call.
The neighbor claimed that Reeves, a student at Gary Lighthouse Charter School, and her sister, then 4, went to her home and stated that something bad had happened to their mother, Garnett.
Shortly before getting on the phone with a 911 operator, Reeves ran out of the home through the back door, leaving her sister behind.
When law enforcement officers arrived at the home, they found Garnett dead inside the upstairs bedroom, according to Fox 10 Phoenix.
An autopsy showed that Garnett had been stabbed 60 times.
An Amber alert was issued when law enforcement believed that Reeves was in extreme danger.
It was called off the following day when the police found her safe around 2:30 p.m., walking alone near 21st Avenue and Carolina Street.
Reeves was ultimately arrested for murder. She was booked into the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center in Crown Point.
She was charged as an adult in Lake Superior Court.
A police investigation revealed that Reeves ran to her neighbor’s house after she had stabbed her mother to death.
She then later met up with her boyfriend, Virgil King, and another boy, Matthew Martin, at the Oak Knoll Apartments.
Martin told investigators that as they were walking along 21st Avenue, Reeves pulled a knife out of her purse and allegedly said, “I broke the tip off on that (expletive).”
The knife apparently had a broken tip.
As she was doing that, he said he noticed that she had blood on her shoes.
The trio continued walking to an abandoned apartment building in the 2000 block of Delaware Street, where they hid the knife.
Police officials later recovered the murder weapon.
Defense attorney John Cantrell stated that Reeves’ fingerprints were found on the blood-covered knife that was used in the killing.
King and Martin were later arrested in connection with Garnett’s murder. They were charged with assisting a criminal and auto theft.
Martin pleaded guilty to the charges, while King pleaded not guilty.
On June 3, 2019, Reeves was scheduled to go to trial, but she opted to take a plea deal that would allow her to plead guilty and receive a 45-year prison sentence in lieu of a 65-year sentence.
During a hearing on June 12, 2019, Judge Diane Boswell asked Reeves why she felt it was necessary to murder her mother, and she quietly said: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“I cannot accept this plea, and you can go to trial and face up to 65 years,” Boswell told her. “Help me understand why you did this. Your being young doesn’t impress me. You knew better. You knew better than this.”
“Your being young doesn’t impress me. You knew better. You knew better than this.”
Reeves was reluctant to speak, but she ultimately told the judge that if she “could go back, I wouldn’t do it again. I’m only a child, but I know that doesn’t excuse it.”
“I do miss my mother, and I wish I wouldn’t have done it,” she said as she broke down in tears.
According to a juvenile probation officer, Michelle Hornick, Reeves was a marijuana smoker, but she earned good grades and was involved in extracurricular activities at her school.
Reeves did not have a criminal record, Hornick said, nor did she have any contact with police prior to the incident.
Although Reeves never gave a motive for killing her mother, she did
tell Hornick that even though she and her mother got along well, they would occasionally get into arguments.
Reeves’s grandmother also spoke during the hearing. She said, “I don’t know exactly what to say. All I can ask is that she can receive some type of therapy. Something’s wrong.”
“Something snapped. I hope she can get some type of help mentally to get through what she has done.”
After pleading guilty in May 2019, Reeves was sentenced the following month to 45 years in prison for murdering Jamie Garnett.