Airman Faces New Charges in Friend’s Death
New details in murder of Clinton Reeves by James Thomas
ANCHORAGE - A 24-year-old airman is accused of killing a fellow 24-year-old airman. The public learned new details in the murder of Clinton Reeves as James Devinn Thomas was back in court on new charges. Thomas was already behind bars for tampering with evidence; now he's charged with murder. Charging documents reveal gruesome details of how police think Thomas killed Reeves and what he did to hide it.
Back in May, Thomas was arraigned for seven counts of tampering with evidence in the disappearance of 24-year-old Clinton Reeves.
A much different looking Thomas was back in court for new charges: first- and second-degree murder and robbery.
He stood before the judge accused of killing a fellow airman, who police say was also his friend. According to new charging documents, Detectives found a claw-like hammer with Reeves' blood in Thomas's Nissan pick-up truck. Police say he was later seen on surveillance footage driving up the Eagle River Road where Reeves' body was discovered. Phone records show Thomas looked for websites on how to get rid of a human body.
It's unsettling information. But Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson officials declined to comment on the latest details. They said they're here to help. “We remain committed to cooperating with local law enforcement authorities as the investigation on-goes with end-state desire being that this matter comes to an appropriate conclusion,” said JBER Commander Colonel Brian Duffy. Their thoughts are with those Reeves left behind. “Our extreme condolences to Airman Reeves’ family that goes out to this day.”
The squadron lost one of its best two months ago. Reeves' commander, Lieutenant Colonel Patricia Csank, took her team down to California and Kansas to visit Reeves' family. “The best way we could think to do that was to reach out to his family and show he led a worthy life,” said Csank. “For somebody so young, for 24 years old, he did a lot during his time, and we didn't want that to go without the traditional military respect or military honors.”
As one airman awaits trial for the murder of another, Reeves' coworkers say they want to honor the legacy of a hardworking man and keep his memory alive. “We carried the American flag with us to both memorial services and presented that to both his mother and to his father,” said Csank. Thomas faces 11 counts, including first- and second-degree murder, robbery and tampering with evidence. The trial is expected to begin sometime in September.