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Des Moines man guilty of first-degree murder in 2022 killing of Randi Light

Clarence Reed Jr. will face life in prison for the February 2022 murder of his girlfriend, 35-year-old Randi Light.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines man will face life in prison for the February 2022 murder of his girlfriend, Polk County District Judge Heather Lauber ruled on Friday. 

Clarence Reed Jr. was found guilty of first-degree murder for the death of 35-year-old Randi Light, who he stabbed to death at a Des Moines apartment on Feb. 26, 2023. 

Reed called police himself, claiming he'd acted in self-defense against Light, but the court found his actions were "not justified" after examining his statements alongside crime scene evidence. 

Her autopsy showed defensive wounds and strangulation marks, while he was uninjured. Three knives as well as a hammer were found in the apartment with Light's blood on them. 

Investigators used laser-scanning software Scene-To-Go to recreate the a 3D model of the crime scene — the first time this technology was used in a Polk County court case.

Following her death, friends and family rallied to speak up against domestic violence and honor her memory.

"Randi was a beautiful soul," her friend, Era Elliott, told Local 5 in February 2022. "There wasn't a soul in this world that she wouldn't help."

If you or someone you know needs help you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE(7233). You can also text "START" to 88788. 

Local 5 will update this story as more information becomes available. Download the We Are Iowa app or subscribe to Local 5's "5 Things to Know" email newsletter for the latest. 

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