Paul Dennis Reid, who got seven death sentences for the execution-style murder of seven people at Middle Tennessee restaurants in 1997, has died with appeals of those sentences still pending, reports The Tennessean.
Reid, who sat on Tennessee’s death row since 1999, died at Nashville General Hospital at Meharry at 5:55 p.m. Friday. He was 55.
The Tennessee Department of Corrections confirmed the death but offered no cause. The state medical examiner is expected to determine the cause in the near future, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Dorinda Carter.
Reid was rumored to be in ill health at Nashville General for the past week, but representatives from the hospital and the corrections department declined to comment on his condition.
In a statement through the family’s attorney, Reid’s sister, Linda Martiniano, thanked those who cared for Reid as he died and asked for time to grieve privately.
“This has been a very painful chapter in our family’s journey,” Martiniano said in a prepared statement. “We know that the victim’s families have also suffered, and we are very sorry for that.“
Reid came to Nashville in 1995 with hopes of becoming a country music star years after being convicted of multiple armed robberies in Texas.He worked at several Shoney’s restaurants in Nashville before he was fired in February 1997. The next day, police found Reid’s first victims, killed execution-style. Middle Tennessee residents lived in terror as Reid’s crimes continued over the next two months.
Reid was arrested in Cheatham County in June 1997 after trying to kidnap the manager of a Shoney’s restaurant where he once worked.
A judge sentenced him to death seven times, once for each victim he killed.