Brownwood domestic violence shelter opposes overturned murder conviction


BROWNWOOD, Texas - The Ark Domestic Violence Shelter is against an appeals court's decision to overturn the capital murder conviction of a 58-year-old Brown County man.

Lanny Bush was convicted in 2014 of capital murder for kidnapping and killing his ex-girlfriend, 38-year-old Michele Reiter of Brownwood.

The 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland reversed his conviction last year, claiming there wasn't enough evidence for kidnapping. They ordered he be re-sentenced.

But earlier this year the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals intervened on behalf of the state, who claims there was an error in the lower court's ruling.

Savannah Cox works at The Ark and handles community engagement.

"We honor Michele," Cox said on Thursday. "He should be held accountable and he should have to face his actions for what he did to her."

Cox said they'll be highlighting Reiter's story starting next week for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

According to the Texas Council on Family Violence, 158 women were killed in 53 counties by their male partners. That's a 20-percent jump from the previous year.

It's also the largest number of deaths the TCFV has recorded since the non-profit began, according to a news release.

Those numbers are why Cox believes Bush's capital murder conviction shouldn't get tossed.

"It seems like we put everything on the victims. What she should've done differently. How did she get herself in this situation? It wasn't her fault. No one asked to be murdered. No one asked to be beaten," Cox said.

Reiter's body was found in September of 2012 in Coleman County in a shallow grave.

District Attorney Micheal Murray, who assisted in prosecuting Bush in Coleman County, said he's optimistic the case will be decided in the state's favor.

The clerk for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said a judge was selected in June to hear Bush's case. A ruling is expected before December.