Cass County Prosecutor: Still awaiting lab reports from Niles woman’s death

Published 2:35 am Thursday, January 15, 2004

By By JAN GRIFFEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Cass County's Prosecuting Attorney Victor Fitz said this morning he is still awaiting laboratory reports from the November 2003 death of Karen Elizabeth Reeves of Niles.
Reeves, who lived at 1113 Carberry Road in Niles, was found dead on Monday, Nov. 17, reportedly from a gunshot wound at that home.
Authorities have been treating the death as a possible homicide.
Fitz said, while he has a portion of the lab results from the investigation, the remainder may take another week or two to arrive.
Reeves' death is the second at the Carberry Road residence in Niles, owned by Steven Phelps, who also lives there.
Phelps is the owner of Beachcombers Resort, a tavern on Rose Drive in the Barron Lake area of Howard Township.
Patricia Jo Lutin, who lived with Phelps, was shot to death at the home on May 24, 1982. Phelps was charged with second degree murder in Lutin's killing. However, he was acquitted by a Cass County jury.
Phelps claimed he shot Lutin in self defense while the two struggled with a .38 caliber gun.
The Cass County prosecutor at the time unsuccessfully argued at Phelps' trial in January 1983 that Phelps waited for Lutin inside his home with a gun and shot her when she kicked in the door.