Murder suspect charged with rape & home invasion

WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man now considered a suspect in the murder of Berta Yolanda Reyes, is charged with criminal sexual conduct and home invasion in an unrelated case.

Shawn James Jarrett, 50, was arraigned today in Grandville District Court on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree home invasion, both punishable by up to life in prison.

Judge Peter Versluis ordered Jarrett held without bond in the Kent County Jail pending his preliminary examination July 3.

Jarrett was released from a Pennsylvania prison 18 months ago after serving 30 years for murdering an elderly neighbor and assaulting another woman in Mercer County, located about 75 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Jarrett, who has no criminal record in Kent County, is accused in the beating and rape of an elderly Grandville woman last Thursday, June 19.

Court documents reveal Jarrett knocked on the woman's door and when she opened it, he forced his way inside. He beat and raped the woman, stole cash and fled on a bike, court records show.

Earlier in the day Walker Police announced Jarrett was also a suspect in the murder of Berta Yolanda Reyes. The mother of four disappeared in April. Her body was later found at construction site in Walker.

Police say Jarrett is not being charged until they receive a forensic report and examine physical evidence.

Jarrett was recently considered a person of interest in the murder after police began re-interviewing Reyes' coworkers. After examining employment documentation, police discovered Jarrett was working at a greenhouse on the same day as Reyes.

RELATED: Elderly Grandville woman assaulted inside home
RELATED: Body at construction site is Yolanda Reyes

The elderly Grandville victim described her assailant as wearing jeans, a gray-hooded sweatshirt and ball cap. Neighbors say they saw a man matching Jarrett's description riding his bike up and down the victim's driveway on Prairie Street SW east of Wilson Avenue prior to the assault.

Media reports about the attack generated tips to police, with callers saying they'd seen the suspect on his bike in two other areas of Grandville. Police obtained surveillance video from The Rapid bus system in Grand Rapids of a man matching Jarrett's description boarding a bus with a bike, court documents show.

The victim identified Jarrett as her assailant from a photo line-up. Police searched his apartment on Camelot Drive SE east of Centerpointe Mall and recovered clothing and a bicycle matching the description provided by witnesses and the victim.

Jarrett served 30 years in prison for the 1982 rape and murder of a 64-year-old neighbor; the victim was the widow of the police chief of Farrell, Pa., according to published reports. The non-fatal attack on a 58-year-old woman occurred two months later in the nearby town of Sharon, Pa. Jarrett was choking his victim when her daughter came home and interrupted the assault, according to published reports in Pennsylvania.

Jarrett was 19 years old when he pleaded guilty to third-degree murder. He was released on New Year's Eve, 2012 and went to live with his parents in Howland, Ohio, near Youngstown.


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