Charge stayed in case against woman accused of accessory to murder for body found in barrel

A woman accused of being an accessory after the fact in the killing of a woman whose body was found decomposing in a barrel in 2017 is no longer facing charges. 

Jessica Reid one of two women charged with helping Perez Cleveland dispose of body

Jessica Reid, pictured here in 2012, was charged with accessory after the fact in the 2016 murder of Jennifer Barrett. The charge was stayed in September 2019. (John Woods/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Jessica Reid, who was accused of being an accessory after the fact in the killing of a woman whose body was found decomposing in a barrel in 2017, is no longer facing charges. 

Reid had been charged after the body of Jennifer Barrett was found decomposing in a barrel behind a Waverley Heights home in December 2016. 

A jury found Perez Cleveland guilty of first-degree murder in Barrett's death on May 29, 2019. 

Another woman, Holley Sullivan, pleaded guilty to to accessory to murder after the fact on Feb. 22, 2018 in Barrett's death. She was sentenced to three years in prison in November 2018. 

The charges against Reid were stayed on Sept. 9, 2019 before Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kenneth Champagne.

In September, Crown prosecutor Daniel Chaput told the court the decision was made to stay the charges against Reid after a thorough review of all evidence "including recent trial testimony." 

Addressing Reid, Champagne said that after dealing with the case for some time, "I know exactly what has gone on." 

He went on to say that although he believes the Crown made the proper decision in Reid's case, "I know you were involved in some very serious matters."

"I suspect you're going to have to deal with this for the rest of your life and any help that you can get would greatly benefit you," he said. 

Woman testified against killer during trial 

During Cleveland's trial, the jury heard how he abused and manipulated Barrett and four other women including Reid and Sullivan — described as "sister wives" — living at the home they shared with Cleveland and his adult daughter.

Both Reid and Sullivan testified about years of physical abuse, including beatings with meat cleavers, extension cords, hammers and golf clubs. 

In court, Reid testified that she met Cleveland in 2015 when she was buying methamphetamine. She said she moved in with him and the other women after she was evicted from her apartment. 

She said she didn't leave him because she was dependent on him, and was scared of what would happen if she did. 

"I knew what he would do if he found me," she told the court. 

Reid testified that Barrett died after days of physical abuse at Cleveland's hands. 

After she died, Cleveland moved Barrett's body into a plastic storage bin in the garage, Reid said, and told her and another woman to deal with the problem while he stayed in a hotel. 

Asked why she helped clean up the crime, Reid said "I was scared that he would send someone after me."




With files from Canadian Press, Erin Brohman and Aidan Geary