Reba McEntire’s The Hammer opened on a murder scene. Jacob Brewer, the 5th district judge of Nevada, was found dead at the local brothel, the Shady Lady. At first, it was believed that he suffered a heart attack, but after the toxicology report came back, his death was ruled as a homicide. The judge had been drugged with rohypnol and oxycodone.
Kim Wheeler, the newly appointed judge, garnered a reputation in town as “The Hammer.” And, while the film did cover multiple cases, her biggest involved the son of tech baron, Bart Crawford, who’d run his best friend off the road in a fit of anger. Said friend died in the accident.
Judge Brewer prided himself on doing his job thoroughly. Like Kim, he received death threats, but he believed that if he wasn’t being threatened then he wasn’t doing his job correctly. He’d been assigned to Bart’s son’s case which raised red flags given the tech baron’s contentious relationship with the judge.
However, the prime suspect in the investigation into Brewer’s death was Kim’s sister, Kris, the owner of the Shady Lady. He’d been found dead at her establishment and, in an earlier incident, oxy had been found in her possession.
Brewer wasn’t a well liked man. Bart and Kris weren’t the only two people on the list of suspects, but who killed him? Here’s what we know!
Who killed Judge Brewer on Reba McEntire’s The Hammer?
Turns out, the person who had the means and motive to kill the judge was Vance, the friendly bartender who’d fallen in love with Charlene Crawford, the mother of Bart’s son. He murdered Brewer for her because she said they could be together if he helped her.
Charlene didn’t want to see her son go to jail for accidentally killing his friend, and Bart wasn’t willing to cross the line to save him, so she took care of it through coercing Vance into the act. He used Bart’s tendency to have a few drinks at the bar to his advantage. Brewer followed a regular pattern of behavior, he’d liquor up before making his way to the brothel.
Vance put the rohypnol in his drink and followed him to the Shady Lady where he shot him full of oxy which triggered a heart attack. He’d also been the one harassing Kim, trying to scare her off the Crawford case so it would get thrown out and Charlene could have what she wanted.
His scheme didn’t succeed. While he planned on killing Kim, too, after she sentenced Charlene’s son to jail and anger management, taking her hostage and drugging her didn’t go as planned. Kim purposefully drove her truck into a pile of hay bales and tried to escape on foot. When that didn’t work, she shot Vance to neutralize him.
The cavalry came in the form of Bart, her bailiff Vicky, and Deputy Wayne. Bart had put a tracker on a her truck to keep tabs on her just in case she ran into similar trouble to Brewer. It paid off since that’s how they found the judge when she needed them.
Vance was arrested as was Charlene.