Cody Allen Reetz
October 9, 1995 - November 15, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial

Just one week before her son would be killed by her husband, Trista Avery says that Charles A. Avery Sr, who was 37 years old at the time, had hit her with a hammer, several times. Why did she wait a week to report this incident? A
week later, Cody Reetz's body was found in a van in the parking lot of a Walmart store, he had been choked to death in what Police say was a planned incident and not what Charles said was a fight between the two.

Charles was arrested and held on suspicion of first degree intentional homicide. Cody was found in the van about four hours after Trista reported having been hit with the hammer saying that her son was with Charles at that moment though she didn't seem concerned for the safety of her son. Police issued a look out bulletin to find Charles and Cody. Charles surrendered to Police that very evening at about 8:00 p.m. and four hours later, Cody was found in the van.

Cody was an 8th grade student who had returned to his present school after a short time away when his family had moved to another town. Neighbors had only good things to say about him, one neighbor said that he was always happy and that he was one of a few in the neighborhood who ever said hello.

It was reported that Charles had an open felony prosecution for five counts of identity theft between November of 2008 and January of 2009 where he had obtained credit cards using the names of Trista and her ex-husband. Charles had charged more than $22,000. on these cards as well as passing bad checks.

In January of 2010, Charles waived his right to a preliminary hearing which was set up to review the evidence against
him and he did not enter a plea. It was noted that Charles had planned to kill Cody as a pay back to Trista for reporting that he had hit her with the hammer. Circuit Judge David Resheske set bail at $750,000. and John Kuczmarski, the public defender,  put in a request for a new judge, though no reason was given at that time. Charles was facing life in prison if he was convicted.

In April of 2011, Charles was in court blaming the death of Cody, on Cody himself. Charles come up with a story about how Cody had asked Charles to kill him because he had been sexually assaulted multiple times and didn't want it to happen anymore. Charles claimed that what happened was a mercy killing, saying in court:

"Cody is in a much better place"

Luckily, Circuit Judge James Muelbauer let Charles know that his lame attempt to put this newest spin on the case, did not make any sense and sentenced Charles to 38 years to life with no possibility of release though he could have given him a release after 20 years:

"For you to claim this was a mercy killing and for you to say he is better off, is one final
insult to Cody's family. You are quite calculating and I find you to be quite dangerous. I
don't see you as a remorseful person"

In the courtroom that day were Cody's parents, Allen Reetz and Trista Avery, who both cried during the court proceeding:

"Cody will always be in our hearts, you will rot in prison with your black heart"
Trista - to Charles in court

"You've taken a sweet, innocent life from all of us"

District Attorney Todd Martens had recommended life in prison with no parole:

"Avery squeezed the life out of an innocent little boy who loved him. Their faces must have
been inches apart"

Charles had apparently sent text messages and written notes to Trista and her family confessing to what he had done to Cody and he had already told Police that he killed Cody to pay back Trista for turning him in:

"She never knew when enough was enough, I finally snapped"

Charles A. Avery Jr., who was 15 years old, was in court and asked the judge to go easy on his father:

"I hate what he did, but God has a plan for all of us. I love you Dad"

In court, Charles said that he had told Cody that they were going for a ride that day. When they parked in the Walmart parking lot, he said they were just going to talk. Charles instead, used a necktie to strangle Cody and then left the van, with Cody's body covered by clothes and book bags and went to meet a friend who had called earlier in the day and had him pick him up at Walmart.

Cody's parents said that they only way they could cope with losing him, was by focusing on memories of him:

"Cody was a happy boy. He loved everyone. Had a big heart. Trusted everyone. There is a lot
anger. I have a lot of anger, but I can't look at that. I have to look at all the happy thoughts I had
with my son"
Trista Avery

Allen said that Cody loved to be outside fishing or snow boarding and that he had just celebrated his 14th birthday with a Halloween themed party:

"Cody's in God's hands and we'll miss him. Some day we'll be with him again"


Cody Allen Reetz of Grafton was taken from us tragically on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, at the age of 14 years.
He was born on Oct. 9, 1995, in West Bend to Allen L. Reetz and Trista Ziehr.

Cody was a student at John Long Middle School. He enjoyed fishing, skate boarding, snow boarding, camping, basketball and baseball.

Cody is survived by his father, Allen Reetz; his mother, Trista Ziehr; sister, Cassie Reetz; brother, Pauly Ziehr; step-brothers, CJ, Chandler and Cammeron Avey. He is the loving grandson of James (Donna) Reetz, Laura King, Ray Duenkel and Scott Winkler and great-grandson of Marie Winget and Arlene (Clarence) Voigt. Also survived by aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and many friends

Cody was preceded in death by his g reat-g reat-g randparents, Mathias and Elfrida Bruendl; g reat-g randfather, Robert Winget; grandparents, Paul and Jean Winkler; and greatgrandparents, Arthur and Myrtle Duenkel.

Funeral Services for Cody will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel in West Bend with the Rev. Alexander Jacobs officiating. Visitation will be held Friday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. until time of service. Interment will be at Washington County Memorial Park Cemetery.

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family. www.phillipfuneralhome.com

Death occurred in the state of Wisconsin

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