Homeowner arraigned for murder in murder of Battle Creek couple

BATTLE CREEK, MI – A landlord who confessed to police last week murdering two tenants was arraigned Monday on two counts of open murder and four charges of weapons.

Chad Allan Reed, 53, was arraigned Monday (October 19) in Calhoun County District Court. He is accused of killing Joseph Soule, 34, and Soule’s girlfriend, Jaclyn Lepird, 31.

Related: Battle Creek owner admits to killing 2 tenants and wrapping bodies in plastic, police say

The couple, who were reportedly killed on October 7, had been the subject of a missing persons case since Monday, October 12.

Reed surrendered on Thursday, October 15, when the 53-year-old confessed to killing Lepird and Soule the previous week at their home at 203 Post Ave. at Battle Creek.

Police said the owner also confessed to wrapping the couple’s bodies in plastic and placing them in the back of his van. After a few days had passed and the couple’s family and friends began to show up looking for them, Reed drove the truck to a nearby abandoned garage and parked it there, Staff Sgt. Battle Creek Police. Joel Case told MLive.

Case said last week the homicides appeared to stem from a long-standing disagreement between Reed and the couple, and that the owner told police there was a verbal altercation between him and Soule on October 7.

Reed told detectives that Soule pulled a knife at him and pulled out a gun and shot and killed the man in self-defense, Case said. He also told police that after witnessing the shooting, Lepird tried to run away from the residence and he also shot him, Case said.

“He (then) followed her into the back yard and started beating and strangling her until she eventually died in the yard,” Case said.

Reed has been charged with two counts of open air murder, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and three counts of felony weapons fire. He is being held at the Calhoun County Jail. Bond was denied on arraignment.

Reed is due back in court on Nov. 2 for a probable cause conference, and a preliminary review is scheduled for Nov. 9.

On Sunday, Battle Creek firefighters responded to Reed’s Post Avenue house at 4:17 a.m., where they discovered the entire front of the house on fire. No one was injured in the blaze and the incident is still under investigation, authorities said.

Also on MLive:

House where owner confesses to killing burnt Battle Creek couple

Man sentenced to 25-60 years in prison for strangling Bangor woman to death in 1986

Woman killed in Kalamazoo apartment shooting was ‘good-hearted’ 20-year-old

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