PHOENIX - The man accused of abusing and murdering his disabled quadriplegic girlfriend and their unborn baby back in 2014 is getting support from his current fiancee through an exclusive interview with 12 News.
It only takes you a split second to understand Alissa Key's shy demeanor. The suspect's fiancee has the autoimmune disorder known as lupus.
She has patches of what is called butterfly rash on her face and scalp, but she held her head up high for the cameras and bravely removed her wig, saying Andres Reyes, 28, gave her the confidence to show her true self.
"Next thing I know, he was wrapping his arms around me, telling me, 'You look beautiful,'" said Key explaining how her relationship with Reyes started three years ago.
In fact, she originally got acquainted with Reyes through his alleged victim Bridget Charlebois, who she met at Glendale Community College.
The two women had a bond, said Key. They both had disabilities, and that allowed them to connect.
"He's never once made me feel like I was a burden," Key said about Reyes, though she laments the fact he's spent hours, sometimes days, in the hospital while she got treatment and recovered from illnesses.
She wants the public to know she only saw Reyes treat Charlebois with the exact same care and respect.
"His tone of voice was so soft [when he talked to her]. It was gentle," she said. "He had this big huge smile when they would walk together."
Key also claims Reyes mourned the loss of Charlebois -- that he was asleep when the medical emergency that claimed her life happened.
"I felt at one point I was living in her memory [after our relationship started]," said Key. "All he would talk about is how much he loved her."
Reyes denied the charges in court Thursday morning, pleading not guilty.
That was after prosecutors claimed Reyes shot Charlebois with an airsoft gun multiple times, that he left her once without food and water in a soiled diaper for more than 12 hours, and finally that he let her die during an unspecified medical emergency.
Due process will continue with Reyes' next court date set for sometime in July.
In the end, a life was lost, and that's taken a toll on everyone involved.
"I do empathize your loss," Key said, addressing the Charlebois family. "I just believe strongly in my heart that you have the wrong person."
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