James Jerome Lloyd and Petra Elvira Reese have been charged with Karen LaForge’s murder.
Photo: Roswell Police Department
Photo: Roswell Police Department

Cops: Murder suspect admits to roughing up woman but denies killing

Details about the murder of Karen Lee LaForge, whose body was found in a Roswell yard in January, were divulged in a hearing at the Fulton County courthouse today.

James Jerome Lloyd, 31, was formally charged with malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, according to Channel 2 Actions News. Petra Elvira Reese has also been charged with murdering the mother of three, but her case was rescheduled because she did not have an attorney present. 

LaForge was reportedly engaged to Joe Reese. Joe and Petra Reese’s divorce was finalized in September after 38 years of marriage, and his ex-wife wanted LaForge “out of the picture,” according to Roswell Det. Andrew Kirk’s testimony reported by Channel 2.

Prosecutors say Petra Reese, 55, convinced her associate Lloyd to "rough up” LaForge by promising he’d be “paid handsomely.” 

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Reese dropped Lloyd off at her ex’s Roswell home on Jan. 17, police say.

“(Lloyd) said that he pushed her around a little bit, and told her to ‘stay away from Joe,’ ” Kirk testified. Lloyd told police he started to walked away, but LaForge jumped on him.

“...he choked her out until she went limp,” Kirk said. However, Lloyd claims he did not kill her.

Lloyd said Petra Reese went to the house and “finished the job” by hitting her in the head with cement stones, the television station reports.  

Joe Reese, 56, called for help after he found his fiancee unresponsive in January.

She died as a result of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Originally from New Hampshire, LaForge, 53, loved photography, the outdoors and cooking for her children, according to an online obituary.

Petra Reese’s next hearing is scheduled for March 30.

A man accused of helping a woman kill her ex-husband's new fiance` is charged with malice murder.
Video: www.accessatlanta.com

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