Charge stayed in Winnipeg for woman who testified about abuse of ‘sister wives’

Charge stayed in Winnipeg for woman who testified about abuse of ‘sister wives’

WINNIPEG — A charge has been stayed for a woman who testified that she was tortured, beaten and burned in the months before her housemate’s body was found decomposing in a barrel behind their home.

Lawyer James Wood says a charge of being an accessory after the fact against Jessica Reid, 37, was stayed in September. He says his client was under duress from significant abuse when she helped dispose of the body in 2016.

“She was tortured right up until the time that this happened,” Wood said Tuesday.

“Now she has to put her life back together after dealing with this for so many years.”

Perez Cleveland, 46, was found guilty last year of first-degree murder in the death of Jennifer Barrett, who was 42. The conviction carries a mandatory life sentence without possibility of parole for 25 years.

During sentencing, Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal called Cleveland a “curator of a house of horrors.”

The trial heard that Cleveland shared a house in Winnipeg with his adult daughter and five women, who were described as “sister wives.”

Four of the women testified that Cleveland was initially charming but turned psychologically and physically abusive.

Reid said she met Cleveland in 2015 when she was buying methamphetamine. When she was evicted from her apartment, she moved in with him and the other women. In her testimony, she described beatings with hammers, golf clubs and extension cords.

Court heard that Cleveland became fixated on the idea that Barrett was cheating on him and tortured her for days until she died. Reid told court she saw the other woman stumble out of the laundry room and fall to the floor.

When asked why she helped another one of the women, Holley Sullivan, clean up after Barrett’s death, Reid told court she was scared for her life.

Sullivan is serving time after pleading guilty for her role in hiding the body.

Reid testified the abuse worsened after Barrett died until one morning she ran away to a neighbour’s home and called police.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eva Pennock got an unlikely visit from a horse at a Three Hills Health Care Centre. (Photo courtesy of Jamie Pennock)
Unlikely visitor brings cheer to residents at Three Hills Health Care Centre

An unlikely visitor spread some cheer and good tidings this week at… Continue reading

(File photo by Advocate staff)
Zero tax increase approved by Red Deer city council for 2021 and 2022

City council passed operating budgets for the next two years on Thursday

Red Deer city council approved a $39.6 million police budget for 2021, up for inflationary reasons from $37.9 million in 2020. (Black Press file photo).
Red Deer city council retains police funding, while also launching a crisis team

De-funding police is not a conversation in this municipality

Alberta reported an additional 1,854 cases of COVID-19 Thursday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories)
Red Deer has 289 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

The Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre in Red Deer has new owners. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Cambridge Hotel in Red Deer has new ownership group

‘They’re making an investment in this iconic hotel for the future,’ says general manager Gil Vallee

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

A masked worker walks behind a hiring sign on his way into the Dover Cliffs long term care home in Port Dover, Ont., Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. Statistics Canada will say this morning how Canada's job market fared last month as COVID-19 case counts rose along with a new round of public health restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian economy added 62,000 jobs in November, Statistics Canada says

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the economy added 62,000 jobs in November… Continue reading

Russell Knox takes 1st-round lead in Mayakoba Golf Classic

Russell Knox takes 1st-round lead in Mayakoba Golf Classic

Charley Hull takes LPGA Tour lead in chilly North Texas

Charley Hull takes LPGA Tour lead in chilly North Texas

Bayern's Alphonso Davies, right, challenges PSG's Thilo Kehrer, left, during the Champions League final soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Miguel A. Lopes/Pool via AP
Alphonso Davies’ remarkable year continues with Canadian Player of the Year award

Alphonso Davies’ remarkable year continues with Canadian Player of the Year award

Japan's national wheelchair basketball team warm up on the court during a grand opening ceremony of the Ariake Arena, a venue for wheelchair basketball during the 2020 Paralympic Games, in Tokyo, Feb. 2, 2020. Ottawa has been named host city for the 2026 world men's and women's wheelchair basketball championships. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jae C. Hong
Ottawa to host 2026 world wheelchair basketball championships

Ottawa to host 2026 world wheelchair basketball championships

Mikael Kingsbury, of Canada, trains during the FIS Freestyle World Cup skiing competition Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Park City, Utah. Kingsbury will miss moguls races for the first time in his World Cup career after suffering a back injury in training on Sunday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Swinger
Canadian moguls king Mikael Kingsbury sidelined with back injury

Canadian moguls king Mikael Kingsbury sidelined with back injury

Curlers sweep a rock during in Brandon, Man., on March 5, 2019. Add two more competitions to the Calgary curling "bubble" that's slated to hold several events later this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Two Grand Slam events added to curling bubble at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary

Two Grand Slam events added to curling bubble at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary

Most Read