Fire poker killer sentenced to 70 years

Mug shot of Zachary Reinders provided by the Allen County Sheriff's Dept.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The man who broke into his 78-year-old neighbor’s home, beat her to death with a fire poker, and then took her wallet back in August was sentenced to 70 years in prison Monday by an Allen County judge.

Zachary Reinders pled guilty on Oct. 31 to killing Diane Woods. At the time Reinders’ family blamed his actions on drugs, particularly Spice, saying he had been on it a week before the killing.

Woods’ son found her body in her home when he went to check on her on August 8 after family members had been unable to reach her for several days. A neighbor found her wallet in a trash can and called police.

The neighbor allowed police to search her property and they found a pair of shoes with blood on them. The neighbor told police the shoes belonged to her son, Zachary. Tests confirmed the shoes had Woods’ blood on them and the insides contained DNA from Reinders. He was interviewed by police and arrested a short time later.

Investigators determined Reinders had given an accomplice Woods’ credit card and that person used it to buy a Playstation 4, video games and hats.

Because of a recent change to state law, Reinders will serve at least 75 percent of his sentence. In the past inmates were able to reduce their sentences by half by getting one day removed for each day served with good behavior. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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