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Two Women Charged with Execution-Style Slaying of Marine Corporal

March 9, 1990

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) _ Two women face first-degree murder charges in the execution-style slaying of a Marine Corps corporal who was investigating an embezzlement scheme involving the squadron that flies the president’s helicopter, authorities say.

Markeithia Reeves, 24, of Suitland, Md., and Tanya Morton, 23, of Arlington, Va., were charged with killing Corporal Estella Pearson, 26, of Detroit, Prince William County police said Thursday. The victim’s body was found in her car Monday night at a shopping center.

Reeves, who worked with the victim at the Quantico Marine Base, was charged with first-degree murder. Morton, a civilian employee with the Navy Department, also was charged with first-degree murder.

The Washington Post reported today that Pearson was investigating an embezzlement scheme, but the amount of money involved was not known. The scheme was said to involve payment of travel funds for trips that were not made.

A criminal complaint obtained by the newspaper said Morton admitted taking part in the embezzlement scheme with Reeves and ″was aware that Cpl. Pearson was investigating that same embezzlement.″

Pearson lived in the barracks at the Marine base and worked in the base’s administrative offices for the helicopter squadron.

Pearson was shot while sitting in her car, Prince William Police Sgt. Barry Bernard said. Her body was discovered by passersby.

Reeves, who investigators believe shot Pearson, was being held without bond and Morton was being held on $25,000 bond in Prince William County.

Preliminary hearings were scheduled for April 3 in Prince William County General District Court.

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