A single mother of eight young children was shot to death by an ex-boyfriend during an argument over money for diapers and baby wipes, police said in a criminal complaint.
Markese Reese, 20, of Penn Hills, was arrested late Tuesday and jailed without bond on a charge of criminal homicide in the death of 28-year-old Marqua Wilson, of Pittsburgh.
Allegheny County court records show Wilson had obtained a protection-from-abuse order against Reese in 2013, identifying him as the father of one of her children and saying he had been physically abusive when they lived together in McKeesport, a Pittsburgh suburb. Reese was charged with violating that order in October 2014 by breaking into her home and throwing things, then stabbing her in the arm with a grill fork when she tried to leave.
Online court records show burglary and other charges filed in the 2014 incident were withdrawn, but it wasn’t clear why. Courts were closed Wednesday for Veterans Day, and the actual documents could not be accessed.
Despite that history, Wilson allowed Reese to visit Sunday night into Monday, when he brought baby supplies and some marijuana to her home, authorities said.
The complaint indicates a witness was drinking wine and vodka with Wilson before Reese arrived.
Reese and Wilson argued Sunday night when he asked her to reimburse him for the baby supplies, saying the money was supposed to have been spent on marijuana, the complaint said. The adults went to bed at about 2 a.m. Monday after Wilson agreed to repay Reese, but the argument resumed after they woke up about 10 a.m., the complaint said.
According to the complaint, Reese choked Wilson, so the witness took Wilson’s children downstairs while the argument raged on the second floor. The witness then heard a “loud ‘boom'” and Reese ran down the stairs with a bloody shirt and hands, saying he and Wilson had been fighting, the complaint said. When the witness went next door to call 911, Reese ran away, police said.
Police tried to track down Reese and even sought to negotiate his surrender over the phone. According to the complaint, Reese told police: “We were struggling over the gun and it accidentally went off and I ran.”
Wilson died of a gunshot wound to the head, police said.
Reese denied killing Wilson as reporters peppered him with questions as he was led from police headquarters Tuesday.
“I didn’t kill the mother of my child,” Reese said. “I loved her.”
Wilson’s family has set up a gofundme.com page to raise money for her funeral expenses. Authorities have said Wilson’s children are all younger than 13.
Reese faces a preliminary hearing Nov. 20 and doesn’t have an attorney listed in online court records.