Tenn. preacher charged again with burglary

Rickey Reed, pastor of First Free Methodist Church in Smyrna, Tenn.
  • Reed caught by 70-year-old homeowner.
  • He was pastor of First Free Methodist Church in Smyrna%2C Tenn.
  • He was caught on video breaking into home of church member in 2011.
  • NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee pastor caught on tape trying to break into a church member’s home for drugs in 2011 has been arrested again after police say he burglarized the home of another former church member.

    Rickey Alan Reed, 56, of Smyrna remained jailed Tuesday on $32,500 bond in Davidson County on a single count each of felony aggravated burglary and misdemeanor theft under $500. He was already on probation after pleading guilty in 2011 to aggravated burglary in Rutherford County, avoiding a four-year prison sentence by begging a judge for mercy, forgiveness and a chance to treat his addiction.

    But Jewel Proper, 70, said none of it worked. Instead she found him the morning of Aug. 8 standing in her Antioch home with her pain medication.

    “I opened the back door and there he stood in the kitchen. I grabbed him by his shirt and I said, ‘I got you now, you ain’t goin’ nowhere,'” Proper said. “He kept saying, ‘Jewel, let me go’. I said, ‘No! You stole my medicine.'”.

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    Reed’s attorney, Thomas Parkerson, said he is talking to prosecutors about resolving the case. He said he anticipates Rutherford County will also seek a charge for violating his probation.

    “I’m hopeful that the victim and the courts will give him some opportunity to get him the help that he needs,” Parkerson said.

    Reed was pastor of First Free Methodist Church in Smyrna until he was caught on video July 4, 2011, breaking into the home of Jean Harris, a member of his church. Harris turned the video over to Smyrna police, who have said they had seen similar allegations that Reed had broken into homes hunting for pain pills. A year later, a Rutherford County judge spared Reed prison time, instead sentencing him to four years of probation.

    Proper said that during the past year she had tried to help Reed, who she suspected was still addicted to painkillers. Reed had been her husband’s pastor.

    “You don’t get help until you hit rock bottom,” Proper said. “And I said (to him), ‘You didn’t hit there yet.'”.

    But medications for her back and neck pain and her husband’s prostate cancer began to go missing. In early August, they installed an alarm on their home.

    “On the fourth day he broke into my house,” she said. “I told him, ‘I’m the wrong one to mess with, I guarantee you.’ I might be little, because I’m about 4’11”, but I’m the wrong one for you to mess with.”.

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    Proper told police that 12 Lortab pills went missing from her pill bottle in the burglary. She hasn’t been able to figure out how he got into her house because there were no signs of a break-in.

    Reed’s case has been sent to a Davidson County grand jury, which will determine if there’s enough evidence to proceed to trial.

    Proper said she forgives Reed but that he needs to be held responsible for his actions and to get help. Especially because of what he’s done to her sense of security.

    “He has invaded my life and my life will never be the same,” she said. “You don’t know what he’s touched, you don’t really know what he’s taken. You don’t know what they’ve done. All I care about is he serves the time and he gets the help he needs.”.

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