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British mum set to marry man she’s never met before serving jail term in USA for murder

Laura O’Sullivan, 32, is engaged to Terrell Ravon Reese, 31, who is currently behind bars for homicide in the US (Image: PA Real Life)

A British mum is set to marry her fiancé whom she has never met before just two months after first reading his “beautiful” letters and poetry.

She is planning their wedding next year 3,560 miles away in a US prison where he is serving between 20 and 40 years for his part in a brutal murder.

Laura O’Sullivan, 32, has known Terrell Ravon Reese, 31, since October 2021, when she used the JPay app for prisoners to find a pen pal – leading to a whirlwind romance.

Laura was thrilled when Terrell proposed last December by phone from a Michigan jail. She is single mum-of-four, from Bristol.

According to Laura, “I thought it was friggin’ nuts, friggin’ crazy, but I couldn’t control my feelings and stop my heart. He’s all I have ever wanted.”

Bristol Post reports that Terrell was convicted for his part in the murder of Justin Solomon, 19, in Detroit, Michigan, on August 1, 2009.

What happened was that Terrell told the deceased he would sell him a car, but instead planned to rob him with another unidentified male. Moments after Justin arrived with a friend, the other man appeared holding an AK-47, saying ‘Don’t nobody move,’ and repeatedly shot and killed him.

Terrell Ravon Reese, 31, has sent images of himself to Laura from prison (Image: PA Real Life)

Terrell, then 18, was caught after fleeing the scene and jailed, aged 19, for homicide, murder – second degree. The man who pulled the trigger was never convicted, reports Bristol Post.

Laura, who is starting a baking business, was impressed by Terrell’s “honesty” when he volunteered information about his crime.

She said: “My initial thought was like, ‘Sh**,’ because it sounds so bad. But he didn’t pull the trigger. He was young and stupid, in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it got him imprisoned for most of his life.”

Laura claims that more than a decade on from the incident, Terrell is a very different man to the teenager he was on that day.

Laura O’Sullivan, 32, has a T-shirt and pillow with Terrell’s face on (Image: PA Real Life)

She said: “Terrell was caught up in a lot of stuff. He does regret that he didn’t have more of a voice and went along with stuff. He wishes he’d made better choices.

“But he’s taken a lot of classes in prison. He goes to church, he has learned sign language – he has taught himself a lot for someone thrown in prison as a teenager.”

Despite the gravity of his crime, Laura says Terrell is incredibly honest.

She said: “He told me what he had done straight away and I was so attracted to his honesty and openness. Physically, looking at photos, the first thing I noticed was his beautiful eyes and dark, beautiful eyelashes, and his tattoos.”

A part-time carer for her eldest autistic son, Laura is awaiting background checks to be completed so she can go to the USA for the first time to meet Terrell. Meanwhile, they have JPay conversations and daily 15-minute $2.50 (£2.07) phone calls – financed by his earnings as a prison shower porter.

While the couple can’t have real date nights, Laura has found other ways for them to enjoy each other’s company.

She said: “I set up my bedroom for Valentine’s and made his favourite drink, 1800s Tequila. It tasted awful, but I drank it for him and we listened to songs and sang together.

“He likes a lot of R&B and love songs – our favourite is Stokley’s song SHE. We sang Usher’s U Got It Bad too.”

She also enjoys “phone sex” with Terrell, which leaves her “more satisfied than being physical before with a whole man”.

She said: “We have phone sex, which I was worried about at first, wondering who was listening, but now I don’t even think about it anymore.”

Confined to his cell for 20 hours a day, he sent Laura a necklace for Christmas, with T for Terrell on it and an October Opal birth stone for the month they ‘met.’ Unable to send anything herself – other than a secure pack filled with $100 (£81) worth of food twice a year – Laura has recruited help from friends across the globe to show her love.

She said: “They write my message on a piece of paper for me and hold it up wherever they are to show how far my love has gone for him.”

And the couple have had each other’s names tattooed onto the side of their hands. In April, Terrell made his marriage proposal “official” by phoning when she was dining out with her mum and sister – who both support her relationship.

She said: “Terrell asked me to do him the honour of marrying him. He asked me to turn around and I saw my sister with a box and a Pandora ring inside it. It was so crazy.”

(With reports from Bristol Post)

 

About Vanko

Vanko is a cheerful writer whose enthusiasm for unusual stories is inspiring.

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