Kirkland had passion for the law

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, September 24, 2008

By Staff
Sallie King knew right away that Reo Kirkland was the right attorney to prosecute her daughter's murderer.
It has been two decades since Stephanie King's murder, but her mother has not forgotten how hard Kirkland worked to find justice for the family.
He walked the crime scene time and time again and pored over tiny details as he tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
But another of Kirkland's practices during the investigation and trial was particularly touching to Sallie King.
King never disturbed it.
Kirkland simply went to sit with Stephanie when he needed to clear his head.
Whether it was his attention to detail, his tenacity, his knowledge of the law or those quiet times with Stephanie - or all of the above - Kirkland's actions did bring justice for the Kings.
Colleagues say Kirkland was known around the courthouse as much for his passion for the law as he was for his prickliness when others did not measure up.
But putting the victim first may have been Kirkland's signature. Former district attorney Mike Godwin remembers walking a crime scene in the woods one Sunday with Kirkland and other law enforcement officers. Kirkland insisted on retracing their steps over and over.
Kirkland loved hunting and fishing from boyhood but later followed his parents into the legal profession.
His fellow attorneys believe that was where Kirkland really found his niche - and the community, they say, is better for it.
Rest in peace, Mr. Kirkland. Thank you for a job done so well and so thoroughly.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by e-mail at