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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pistol-Packing Granny Kills Granddaughter's Ex-Husband

1-31-2006 California:
The 81-year-old woman accused of fatally shooting her granddaughter’s ex-husband admitted to the killing in an interview today. In comments to the Los Angeles Times at the county jail, Jeane E. Allen confessed to gunning down 26-year-old Alex L. Reyes outside her Lake Forest home. She said that after he showed up at the family’s home over the weekend, she walked inside, grabbed a handgun she had recently cleaned and fired at him. Allen said she then called 911 and told the dispatcher: "I just shot a pedophile."

No child abuse charges have ever been filed against Reyes and he denied similar accusations during his divorce from Leslie Bieg, 24, his former wife who is Allen’s granddaughter. Reyes, who lived in Brea, came to Allen’s home Saturday morning to pick up his 18-month-old child for a supervised visitation. The court-appointed monitor had not yet arrived, authorities said, and it was not known why supervision was required. Reyes was speaking to his former wife when, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said, Allen shot him in the head and thigh. He died at the hospital the next day.

Reyes’ family defended him today. "He was a good father. He was a good brother. He was a good son," said Reyes’ father, Gilbert. He said his son had just graduated from the Fullerton College police academy and that he wanted to be a police officer. Allen, now the jail’s oldest inmate, is 5 feet tall with dyed-blond hair, thick glasses and long, carefully maintained blue acrylic nails. Her hands shook as she recounted her acrimonious history with Reyes. She said she doesn’t regret shooting him. She said it was the only way to protect her great-grandson.

During the interview today, Allen said she never shared with police her accusations of abuse, which are alleged in a thick court file stemming from custody proceedings over the boy. Larry Fancher, the La Habra attorney who represented Reyes during the custody dispute, said that as part of a court stipulation, Reyes allowed himself to be examined by mental health experts, including a doctor who specialized in sex crimes.

He said experts gave Reyes a series of tests, including a polygraph, to determine his fitness as a parent. Fancher said the results of the first series were inconclusive, but a second series was favorable to him. "The findings did not support the allegations made by the grandmother and the mother," said Fancher, who had planned to call the experts on Reyes’ behalf when the custody case went to trial in March. Reyes hoped to win unsupervised visits with his son. Allen told The Times she shot Reyes after he asked her for a letter of apology.

The grandmother is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on murder charges Tuesday. Some neighbors described Allen as a pleasant woman, while others said she could be cranky and cursed. One neighbor, a former Marine, said that last week Allen brought him her .38-caliber Smith & Wesson and asked him to make sure it was in working order. ..more.. : by Mai Tran and Christopher Goffard, Times Staff Writers

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