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Michigan teenager convicted of double murder in South Bend

Mugshot of Rease Pence
St. Joseph County Jail
Rease Pence, 18.

On Thursday a St. Joseph County jury found a teenager guilty of killing two women who had given him a ride from Niles to South Bend.

After less than two hours of deliberation, jurors on Thursday found 18-year-old Rease Pence guilty of shooting two women in a car at the Laurel Woods Apartments on the north side of the city.

Pence was 17 at the time of the murders in June of last year and court documents say he asked the women for a ride from Niles down to South Bend before he shot them.

Police would later find 28-year-old Jamie Binns and 29-year-old Samantha Lawson dead in a car at the apartment complex. Prosecutors say the women stopped at a house in Niles shortly before they were killed and drove Pence and a friend down to South Bend.

The jury found Pence shot the women in the back of their heads. He will be sentenced in November and faces anywhere from 50 to 150 years in prison.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.