A pastor from Smyrna, Tenn., who escaped prison in 2011 for stealing drugs from the home of one of his church members, was caught last month trying to do the same thing to another former congregant and he's now stewing in jail as the court decides what to do with him.
Pastor Rickey Alan Reed, 56, avoided a four-year prison term in 2011 when he begged a judge for mercy and forgiveness and the opportunity to treat his addiction according to The Tennessean.
Reed, however, fell back into his old habit last month when he allegedly broke into 70-year-old Jewel Proper's house in search of painkillers. On Tuesday, he was still sitting in jail in Davidson County on a $32,500 bond for a single count of felony aggravated burglary and misdemeanor theft under $500.
"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,'" said Proper recalling how she caught the fallen man of God. "He kept saying, 'Jewel, let me go.' I said, 'No! You stole my medicine.'"
Up until July 4, 2011, when he was caught on video trying to break into church member Jean Harris' house, Reed was pastor of First Free Methodist Church in Smyrna.
Proper explained in The Tennessean that Reed had been her husband's pastor and she tried to help him in the last year because she suspected that he was still addicted to painkillers even after his brush with the law.
"You don't get help until you hit rock bottom," Proper noted. "And I said (to him), 'You didn't hit there yet.'"
She said she noticed medications for her back and neck pain and her husband's prostate cancer had been disappearing so they installed an alarm in their home in August and quickly found the problem.
"On the fourth day he broke into my house," recalled Proper. "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."
A Davidson County grand jury is examining the case to see if there is enough evidence for a trial.
Even though she forgives Reed, Proper says the addicted pastor needs to answer to his crime.
"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."
Reed's attorney, Thomas Parkerson, said while he anticipates Rutherford County will be seeking to charge the pastor for violating his probation, he said he was optimistic that the court and Proper would give his client the chance to make things right.
"I'm hopeful that the victim and the courts will give him some opportunity to get him the help that he needs," said Parkerson.