By Kevin Deutsch
Raymond Reese, the man who killed beloved Parkland mom and real estate agent Sara Trost after mistaking her for the homeowner who had recently evicted him in Coral Springs, has pleaded not guilty, court records show.
Reese, 51, who entered the written plea on Jan. 4, faces a charge of first-degree murder with premeditation, a capital homicide case that can be punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.
He is being represented by attorney Rachel Newman in the Broward County Public Defender’s office, records show.
Sara Trost, 40, was sitting in the driver’s seat of her Jeep Wrangler on Dec. 23, the vehicle parked directly in front of 5730 NW 48th Ct., when witnesses saw Reese’s blue Ford Fusion drive up to Trost’s Jeep and crash into its front, driver’s side tire around 12:33 p.m., according to charging documents filed by Coral Springs Police.
“They watched as [Trost] opened the driver’s door,” wrote Coral Springs Police Detective Brian Koenig. “The driver of the sedan then pointed a handgun out of the window and fired multiple rounds at the victim from within the dark blue sedan. The suspect then fled the area.”
Police officers arrived to find Trost dead in her Jeep with gunshot wounds to her upper left chest and left arm, according to the records.
At 1:28 p.m., less than an hour after the shooting, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received a 911 call from a man identifying himself as Raymond Reese.
“Can you send an officer to pick me up? I shot somebody,” Reese said, according to the court records.
Reese gave his new address on Riverbend Terrace in Boca Raton. He said he had shot his former landlord in Coral Springs and believed she was dead.
Reese also said the gun he shot her with was in a Ford Fusion in the parking lot outside. When PBSO deputies arrived, they found the crash-damaged Fusion with blood on its passenger side.
At a PBSO substation, Reese told detectives he had shot at his former residence and “stated that he was upset at his former landlord over an email she sent him the previous day, which he had read that morning,” according to the records.
Reese then asked for a lawyer.
Trost was at the home to show the property to a prospective buyer, the records state. The home’s owner, who had hired Trost, told police “she had very recently evicted her former tenant, Raymond Reese, from the residence and suspected that Raymond may have been the shooter.”
“She stated that Raymond was very upset with the recent eviction and believed that she may have been the intended target,” the property owner told detectives.
Trost, who hails from the United Kingdom, was a married mother of a little girl and a pet-sheltering volunteer for Paw Patrol Animal Rescue and Sanctuary.
Reese is being held without bond at the Broward Main Jail.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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