Fort Worth

She dated a rape and murder suspect, but says ‘I’ve never seen that side of him’

Megan Lewis dated Reggie Kimbro but said she saw no signs of the violence for which he stands accused.
Megan Lewis dated Reggie Kimbro but said she saw no signs of the violence for which he stands accused.

Though she lives in Missouri, Megan Lewis has religiously scoured the internet for updates in the case of a Texas man accused of raping and murdering two women, just days apart in Fort Worth and near Dallas.

For the 23-year-old woman, it’s more than just a casual curiosity. This case hits close to home.

At the University of Arkansas, Lewis had been a sorority sister and later roommate to one of the victims, Molly Matheson. The two women were still living together when Matheson met and began dating her alleged killer, Reginald Kimbro.

Lewis, in fact, would later date Kimbro herself.

Though they later broke up, Lewis says the two still talked frequently. She would come to realize that they had even talked by phone in the hours before and after Matheson had been killed.

Lewis has watched in shock as the horrific accusations continue to stack up against Kimbro:

Tuesday’s indictment by a Collin County grand jury on a sexual assault charge that he raped a woman at a party in Allen in January 2014.

Two capital murder charges, one in connection with Matheson’s death and the other in the death of Megan Getrum, a Plano woman killed less than two weeks later.

Megan Getrum
Megan Getrum’s body was found April 15 in Lake Ray Hubbard. Star-Telegram archives

Allegations that he raped two women — one in Plano in 2012 and another in South Padre Island in 2014 — but was never prosecuted.

“I’ve never seen that side of him. It’s like a double life. Two different people,” Lewis said in a recent telephone interview with the Star-Telegram.

“I don’t know if at that time [when she dated him] he was really trying to turn himself around and that’s why nothing had happened or he was just really good at hiding it and nothing happened to set him off again,” she said. “I’ve really been trying to figure out ‘why’ since it happened. There’s no ‘why’ I can figure out.”

Sgt. Jon Felty, an Allen police spokesman, on Wednesday confirmed the latest indictment against Kimbro in Collin County. He said it stemmed from a sexual assault alleged to have occurred on Jan. 19, 2014, of a woman who had been found lying in a yard next to a fence.

With the latest accusation out of Collin County, Lewis admits that her shock has worn off.

“To be honest, nothing will surprise me at this point,” Lewis said Wednesday on being told of the latest charge. “It’s definitely scary — each one that comes out. But it won’t surprise me if it isn’t the last one.”

‘He’s a charmer’

Kimbro is a 2011 graduate of Plano Senior High School. After high school, he joined the Navy. Lewis said he told her that he was later medically discharged, but didn’t elaborate.

He had met Matheson in the spring of 2015, around the same time Lewis and Matheson had a falling out and were drifting apart.

Molly Matheson3
Molly Matheson was strangled in her TCU area home on April 10. Sesha Smith Star-Telegram archives

“I believe they met on Tinder,” Lewis said, referring to the popular dating app.

Kimbro wasn’t a college student but was in and out of Fayetteville visiting his best friend, a former high school classmate who attended the University of Arkansas. As it turned out, the best friend lived in the same apartment complex as the women in a building diagonal to their own. Kimbro often slept on his friend’s couch.

Lewis said she returned from spring break to find that Kimbro had pretty much moved into the downstairs floor of the women’s three-floor townhome with Matheson.

“I think that’s kind of his personality. He’s a charmer,” Lewis said. “He definitely knows how to get his way into people’s lives and stays there no matter what.”

Lewis said that although she did not particularly care for Kimbro on first meeting him, she had no sense that he was dangerous. Because she and Matheson weren’t particularly close at that time, Lewis said the couple would usually be in and out of the apartment or downstairs in Molly’s part of the townhome.

“As far as their relationship and what exactly it entailed, I kind of knew bits and pieces of what Molly felt like she needed to tell me,” Lewis said.”They always seemed fine. She never seemed upset about anything. … I never heard anything negative about what was going on between them.”

Matheson later returned to Texas and Lewis eventually got word through a mutual friend that Matheson and Kimbro were no longer together.

Lewis was at a Fayetteville bar in December of 2015, nursing a recent break-up, when she ran into Kimbro.

“I felt like I was just meeting someone new,” Lewis recalled. “Even though I had known him, I really didn’t know him because they were always just in and out. I never really sat down and had a conversation with him.”

The two started talking and soon Kimbro was offering to take her out to dinner and for ice cream to cheer her up. Lewis said she was hesitant because of Kimbro’s past with Matheson but reluctantly agreed, spending the night venting about her recent break-up while Kimbro listened.

“Looking back, I can piece things together now,” Lewis said. “He’s a charmer. He’d know what to say, when to say it, how to say it.”

After that night, the two kept talking and hanging out. Soon, their friendship evolved into an on-again, off-again relationship, she said.

“Now that I can see it, he was very manipulative in what he did and how he got you to have feelings for him,” Lewis said.

She said people were drawn to Kimbro.

“He knew everyone and everyone knew him,” Lewis said. “He was the life of the party. The funny guy. You would never assume anything bad of him. He was always outgoing and being happy and loud and obnoxious.”

Megan and Reggie
Megan Lewis described Reggie Kimbro as “the life of the party.” Megan Lewis

Lewis said Kimbro was never physically violent with her though he could became emotionally abusive when they argued over his constant contact with other women.

“He’d get super defensive,” Lewis recalled. “He would basically go off on you, let you know how wrong you were and how stupid you were for even considering that to be a fact.”

The only hint of a dark side that Lewis witnessed was when Kimbro confided to her that he was dealing with a rape accusation made against him in 2014 while he and his best friend were on spring break at South Padre Island.

“He was telling people about Padre but it was a very different story,” she said.

In his story, Kimbro insisted that sex with the woman inside a resort restroom had been consensual, Lewis said. He said he had returned to the beach to look for his best friend when he was met by officers and arrested, Lewis said.

According to Kimbro, “her boyfriend came in right after (they’d had sex), she got scared and claimed rape,” Lewis said.

Lewis said Kimbro didn’t seem embarrassed by the accusation, treating it like a situation he was handling. She said she believed he was working on a deal to get deferred adjudication probation but he later told her that the charge had been dismissed.

Cameron County district attorney officials have only said the case was dismissed for more investigation and have repeatedly refused to elaborate.

Since Kimbro’s arrest in the two deaths, Cameron County officials presented the case to a grand jury, which returned indictments against Kimbro accusing him of aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault.

“I could tell something was wrong”

At the time of Matheson’s death, Lewis said she and Kimbro were broken up but still talked regularly, weighing the possibility of getting back together.

In fact, the two had talked for about an hour on the evening of April 9, the same night that police believe Matheson was killed.

In their hour-long conversation, Lewis said Kimbro mentioned that he had been working on his younger sister’s car and had to make a few stops before heading back to his grandmother’s house, where he was staying.

He didn’t tell her one of those stops included Matheson’s apartment.

After hanging up, they later exchanged good-night texts.

At about 2:30 the next morning — the time that police suspect Kimbro was leaving Matheson’s apartment after attempting to clean up the crime scene — Kimbro called Lewis again, waking her.

“Looking back, I could tell something was wrong,” recalled Lewis. “I remember asking him, what was wrong. … He said, ‘Nothing.’ He just wanted to call me when he was on his way home.”

The phone call lasted just 59 seconds with both saying good night and Lewis returning to bed.

Lewis said Kimbro had called her the Monday after Molly’s death, saying he was in Fayetteville and was planning on visiting her in Missouri.

“He said he was coming to surprise me the next day because I hadn’t seen him since October,” Lewis said.

But he never made it and, on that Tuesday, the news of Matheson’s death reached Lewis via a friend. She called Kimbro to break the news to him.

“I was trying to be nice and call him because I figured he had no way of knowing. As far as I knew, they weren’t in contact for a while,” Lewis said.

When she broke the news, she said Kimbro started crying — unusual for him — telling her “it wasn’t real.”

“‘I just saw her,’” Lewis said Kimbro told her. “I was like, what?”

Lewis said Kimbro told her that he had visited Matheson at her apartment, where the two had watched a show together, talked about her boyfriend and that she had given him some advice.

“At first, I didn’t know what to do with the information. He told me, ‘Don’t tell anyone.’ I guess I could have taken that as a ‘Why? Why can’t I tell people if you didn’t do it?’

Lewis said though she didn’t believe Kimbro had anything to do with Matheson’s death, she feared authorities would. And because the two had been in phone contact, she also feared that she could be implicated. She encouraged Kimbro to go talk to police and clear things up.

“I considered him my best friend,” Lewis said. “I’m like you need to fix this. You need to do something now.”

Later, after talking with her parents, Lewis reached out to police herself.

“I contacted them because I didn’t know if he had gone to them yet,” Lewis said. “At that point, my parents were like, “You need to get ahead of it. If they find your name, they’re going to wonder why he was talking to you.’

Though Kimbro was still calling and sending her texts and Facebook messages, Lewis said she decided to cease all contact with him until she got confirmation that he’d been cleared as a suspect.

“I basically, every single day from that Tuesday on, was refreshing my Google search. That Friday, I happened to refresh it and it came out that they had arrested somebody but it didn’t have a name on it.

I was like, it’s not going to be him. OK, it’s not going to be him,” Lewis recalled.

Kimbro mugshot
Reginald Kimbro is a 2011 graduate of Plano Senior High School. Fort Worth Police Department

A friend later called and told her the suspect’s identity had been released.

“I refreshed it and his face was right there and that’s how I found out,” she said.

Tarrant County authorities are seeking the death penalty against Kimbro in Matheson’s case.

As the number of his alleged crimes continue to grow, Lewis said she thinks about all the times she was alone with Kimbro.

“It's very crazy to know all of this now after having been in such close quarters for so long,” Lewis said. “It just definitely makes you think about what it could've been and how close you were to being the victim yourself.”