Originally created 12/15/03

Mother of suspect in teen's slaying relieved her son is jailed



MACON, Ga. -- The estranged mother of a convicted killer now again charged with murder said Sunday the death penalty would be the only way to keep her son from committing more crimes.

Eva Reyes, 71, also said the legal system that has allowed her son, David Maust, to leave prison following two previous murder convictions also bears responsibility for his latest alleged crimes.

Maust is accused of luring teenagers into his Hammond, Ind., home by offering them alcohol and drugs. Police unearthed the bodies of three missing teenagers from beneath a concrete slab in his basement.

Maust, previously convicted of murder in 1974 and 1981, has been free since 1999. Reyes said she fears her son may have caused more than three deaths since his latest release.

"If he's been out since '99 like they say, there's more someplace," Reyes told The Associated Press.

The remains of the bodies found in Maust's basement were identified as those of Michael Dennis, 13; James Raganyi, 16; and Nick James, 19. Dennis and Raganyi were last seen Sept. 10. James disappeared in May but was only reported missing two weeks ago.

Maust was charged with murder in Raganyi's death. No other charges have been filed, but the investigation is ongoing.

Maust is being held without bond at a jail in Lake County, Ind.

Reyes says she and her youngest son, Jeff, agree that if found guilty, David Maust should be put to death.

"Jeff wants David put out of his misery," Reyes said. "He wants him executed so he can't do this again."

Added Reyes: "I love David, but yes that would be the right thing to do for him."

Twice before, Reyes has seen her son convicted of murder, and twice she has been disappointed to see him released.

Maust was convicted in Illinois in the 1981 slaying of a teen boy and was held in mental institutions two years before he was judged fit to stand trial.

In 1974, he also was convicted of killing a boy in Germany while stationed in the Army. He served more than three years at the federal prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

"When he was in prison (in Illinois) they said he would never get out," Reyes said. "He conned a judge. The judges are no good. They should charge the judge for the murders, too."

Reyes said Maust wanted to live with her in Chicago in 1979, but she says she wouldn't have felt safe to sleep in the same house with her son.

"I said no," Reyes said. "My husband had just died. I was not comfortable being around David. He had been very angry at me. I wouldn't want to go to bed with him in the house. He would have tried to kill me or maybe succeeded."

Reyes said she has not talked with her son since the mid-1980s, when she visited him in prison in Illinois. Reyes said she was told by a prison psychiatrist that Maust's brain may have been damaged by forceps at birth.

"They said he would never be outside of prison again," Reyes said.

Reyes said she "didn't hear from him ever again" until she heard chilling news delivered through her TV set last week.

"They were talking about this guy named Maust killing three boys," she said. "They didn't show the picture but I knew it was him."