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Woman accused of murder on no-bond hold; Alleged cousin-murderer had ‘intimate relationship’ with victim


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Authorities have charged a woman with murder in the second degree and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after allegedly killing her cousin — whom she was reportedly in an intimate relationship with — as well as injuring the victim’s boyfriend with a knife.


According to a news release from the Roswell Police Department, 41-year-old Marcella Reese was arrested Monday morning as she was released from medical treatment believed to be related to her apparent intoxication.

The 55-year-old man who was stabbed, Nigel Murray, remains hospitalized and was listed in stable condition, police said Monday.

The charges stem from the March 26 murder of 46-year-old Charlotte Byrd in west Roswell.

According to an affidavit by Robert Scribner, the RPD detective learned officer Trevis Reese of the RPD was dispatched to 314 S. Birch Ave. in reference to a stabbing at about 8:25 p.m.

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“Upon arriving, he entered the apartment and observed a male subject suffering from apparent stab wounds to the stomach and arms,” the report stated. “He observed a female subject (who) he knows as Charlotte Byrd.”

Police said Byrd, who was not breathing, had a large amount of blood around her body.

“(Trevis Reese) attempted CPR until medics arrived and declared Ms. Byrd deceased,” the report stated. “Another female was observed to be lying on the couch.”

The other woman, identified as Marcella Reese, was complaining that somebody had hit her. Police noted she had no apparent injuries.

RPD officer Chance Cavin was also dispatched to the stabbing call. He described his experience with the male victim, who was later identified as Nigel Murray.

“Upon arriving, he observed a male subject who had apparent stab wounds to his forearms and one incised wounds to his stomach,” the report stated. “Cavin observed that the male’s intestines were protruding from the wound to the stomach. He rendered first aid to the subject and observed that there was a large knife lying on the ground, under the subject’s legs.”

Detective Scribner then spoke with the man who made the 911 call, Johnny Norris.

Norris, Charlotte Byrd’s brother, told police his sister was in a long-term relationship with Murray.

“Nigel (Murray) had a stroke some time ago and does not get around very well nor does he speak well,” the report stated.

Norris also told police Reese is a cousin to both him and Byrd — and that Byrd and Reese had been involved in an intimate relationship.

According to the affidavit, though Norris had left the residence, he came back after Byrd asked him to bring a lighter via text message as Reese had apparently taken hers.

“The front door was unlocked as he entered,” the report stated. “He observed Marcella (Reese) to ‘jump up’ from the couch where she was lying. (Norris) observed that Nigel (Murray) was lying in the corner of the living room.

“Nigel was attempting to speak and pointing to Marcella, (who) told him, ‘He tried to stab me cuz.’ (Norris) saw his sister slumped over the couch, covered in blood.”

Norris said Reese had been “flipping out” the past few days and had even been talking about going to Sunrise Mental Health Center.

Norris also mentioned Reese had been complaining to him that Byrd had been acting mean to her. Earlier the same day, when Norris was out driving around with Reese and Byrd, he stated the two had been arguing over nonsense.

“He tries not to listen or get involved in their arguments,” the report stated. “Marcella (Reese) had several drinks of vodka this evening or afternoon.”

After another RPD detective obtained a search warrant from Chaves County Magistrate Court, police conducted a walkthrough of the apartment on South Birch.

“At the end of the couch, (I) observed a large black sheath for a knife,” Scribner wrote. “Inside the door, next to the wall to the north, (I) observed a large knife. The knife had a silver handle and a blade approximately 12 inches long — the blade of the knife had blood on it.”

Police said directly in front of the couch lay the body of the victim face-up. The woman was wearing a striped nightgown covered in blood.

“(I) observed another couch further into the room against the south wall,” Scribner wrote. “There was a large amount of blood on that couch as well as on a glass table that appeared to have been moved from in front of the couch.”

Police also observed several small drops of blood in the hall leading to one habitable bedroom of the residence.

While Scribner was on the scene, Norris had asked him if Reese had any blood on her, which could not be answered due to the investigation.

Norris then asked if Scribner had found a knife inside the residence. When the detective asked why, Norris told police Reese carries a knife.

“He stated that when he left, Marcella (Reese) was sitting in (a) white car in front of the residence,” the report stated. “(He said) that the knife was on the dashboard.”

Norris described the knife as silver in color and used his hands to approximate its length at about 16 inches. He also told police the large “hunting” style knife was kept in a black scabbard.

After police obtained a search warrant for Reese, who had been previously transported to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center (ENMMC), authorities observed no signs of injury — only blood on her hands and lower portions of her arm.

Police later observed the footage captured by RPD officer Trevis Reese.

After Marcella Reese told police someone had stabbed her in the back, the officer asked, “Who did it?”

The question was met with, “We all did.”

“We all did it together — because we were fighting over (inaudible),” Marcella Reese told officer Trevis Reese. “I love her — this mother—-er tried to stab me in my mother—-ing arm.”

Marcella Reece and Murray were both transported to ENMMC, though police noted Reece had no visible injuries.

A single apparent three-inch stab wound was observed from Byrd.

An empty bottle of vodka was found next to the white car in the dirt in front of the residence.

Police said Reese is being held at the Chaves County Detention Center without bond.

According to the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, a court appearance for Reese has not yet been set, though she is being represented by a public defender.

Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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