Wednesday, July 24, 2024


010914 SPURLOCK GUILTY.Still001




On March 16th, 2012 David Spurlock returned home after working several twenty-hour days. He arrived home just after 10 pm. The house was dark and as he made his way to the bedroom he saw his son Michael on the floor. He thought him to be asleep and with it dark did not see any blood. Just after midnight he woke up and at that point his wife stomped on the boy’s head. David immediately called 911.

Magnolia Police Sgt. Lopez and Sgt. Clack was one of the first to arrive on the home near the end of Roy Street just off FM 1488. They discovered Michael almost dead. He suffered from multiple lacerations, stab wounds to the head and brain and his throat cut. The officers started life-saving procedures as MCHD arrived and Magnolia firefighters arrived. Michael was very critical and Life was immediately dispatched to the scene.

David did not learn of the extent of Michael’s injuries until he arrived at the hospital where doctors only gave him forty-eight hours to live.

Daphne Spurlock, the 5-year-olds natural mother was David’s second wife. He was also the father to Michelle Arroyo, Michael’s adult step-sister. Within a month CPS awarded custody of Michael to Michelle. Michelle said that is when her life changed. A home health caregiver now found herself making daily trips to the hospital and rehab center to visit Michael.  When he was finally released she cared for him having to take him to rehab appointments, speech therapy, and physical therapy.  At the time Michael was restricted to a wheelchair and also was fitted with a track due to the injury to his throat. The speech therapy wasn’t needed long as he soon returned to school in the wheelchair and was the hit of the class. Michelle calls Michael her “Little Old Man”, due to how smart he is. She said there is very little that he can’t do, he knows electronics and computers inside and out.

Last summer Michael put aside the wheelchair and started using a walker. Being such a fighter, beating the odds of death he soon tossed the walker aside and was walking on his own. With an injury to his foot he still does not have full function of it. Michelle told the court that he will never be able to play baseball, football or most any other sport as most children can.

One of the prosecutors in the Spurlock case was Sheri Culberson. Not long after Michael was out of the hospital he and Michelle paid a visit to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.  Culberson called Michael an amazing child. “When I first saw photographs of him and the horrific things that is mother had done to him I expected to see a much more damaged child physically and emotionally and when he met me he gave me a big smile and his big concern was wanting to punch the elevator buttons”, she said. .   Culberson talked to him at length and also introduced him to Ranger, the District Attorney’s Office victim-witness dog. Michael spent hours throwing the ball to Ranger.

After the trial which lasted through the week, the jury spent just over ninety minutes to reach a verdict and less than that to set the punishment.

Just before 5:30 pm 435th District Court Judge Michael Seiler read the verdict and sentenced Spurlock to the forty-years set forth by  the jury.

Culberson said Michael calls his sister Michelle “Sister Mama”.  She said basically that’s what  Arroyo has done for him, she has changed her life to make sure Michael has a good home life and that they are bonding really well. Culberson said. “I think he has a good future ahead of him.” Culberson said due to the work hours David Spurlock has he is simply not able to care for Michael. Even though the courts have given him visitation privileges Arroyo allows him to visit whenever he wants.

Defense Attorney George Parnham, the almost half-century from Houston who is most known for defending Andrea Yates was Daphne’s court-appointed attorney. He said it was a very difficult case to prosecute. He said, “ an insanity defense id a very hard defense for a jury t understand.” Also despite the sever presence of mental illness to a large degree that’s because of our statute in the State of Texas which I have been fighting to change the past eight years to change so it is more inline with other states.”, said Parnham.  He said in the defense the injuries to the child were extremely difficult to overcome.  He said Daphne, who has been incarcerated since the incident remains on medication for mental illness. He said he believed the people in the Montgomery County Jail are doing an excellent job caring for Daphne Spurlock.

Parnham said days before the incident people in her church choir noticed the change in Daphne Spurlock. There was enough change that she lost her job at Wal-mart.

Tyler Dunman, also an Assistant District Attorney with Montgomery County assisted on the prosecution of the case. Dunman said it was difficult to prosecute the case because the defense wasn’t saying she didn’t commit the act but did it and was insane at the time. With that defense, it adds several legal issues and makes the case even more difficult.. He said that by Texas law even though a person was suffering from some type of mental defect at the time she committed the offense, the second part of that is if she knew what she was doing was wrong, she is not entitled to the insanity defense. Dunman said the jury saw that she knew what she was doing was wrong and sentenced her to forty-years. The jury could have gone anywhere from probation to five to life in prison.

Originally the case was filed as capital murder but due to the mental issues was later dropped to injury to a child. Daphne Spurlock who up to the day of the incidnet was a loving mother said she was trying to remove the demons from young Michael Spurlock.







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