Update: Spivey sentenced to life in prison

OKEECHOBEE — Terrance Spivey will soon be joining his partner in crime, Travis Spencer, in prison.

A jury of his peers Thursday, April 28, found that Spivey, 24, was complicit in the murder of William ‘Bear’ Curry.

Terrance Spivey

Terrance Spivey

Spivey was convicted Thursday of first degree felony murder with a firearm, burglary of a dwelling with an assault or battery while armed and robbery with a deadly weapon. He was also convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was given three life sentences with no possibility of parole on the murder, burglary and armed robbery charges, and 15 years on the weapons charge. All sentences are to run concurrently.

“We had very solid evidence,” said Assistant State Attorney Ashley Albright. Part of the murder was actually captured on video because DEA surveillance had been set up in the area for another investigation.

Spivey and Spencer acted in concert to rob Curry, a known drug dealer, of his drugs and cash. But, they didn’t count on the 260-pound boxing and mixed martial arts enthusiast putting up the fight he did.

Around 6 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2014, Spivey walked down the hallway of Nab’s Apartments, 580 N.E. 13th Ave., with the intent of robbing Curry. As insurance, Spencer, 27, was staged by a window outside the man’s one-room apartment with a handgun.

The robbery attempt quickly went south and as Curry and Spivey fought, Spencer began firing through that one window in Curry’s apartment. Even though he was struck in the left side of his abdomen, in the right pinky finger and in the right knee Curry battled for his life.

Curry and Spivey fought down the hallway of the apartment building, and at one point Curry pushed open the door of Cornelius Lawton’s room — presumably so Lawton could see who was attacking Curry.

Spivey got away from Curry, but not unscathed. As he tussled with the much larger Curry, Spivey was shot in the right thigh by Spencer. That round went through Spivey’s right leg and became lodged in the femur of his left leg.

Curry staggered the short distance to the home of Kiwana Jones, his niece.

She called 9-1-1 and even though help arrived, Curry could not be saved.

Dr. Roger Mittleman, District 19 medical examiner, testified Wednesday, April 27, it was the 9mm round that entered Curry’s left abdomen and exited out the right side of his body that was the official cause of death.

He told assistant state attorney Ashley Albright that the bullet entered Curry’s left abdomen, went through the diaphragm, through the man’s stomach and liver and through his left diaphragm before exiting the body.

Once the round perforated Curry’s liver, his chest cavity quickly began to fill with blood.

The killers were caught after Spivey’s girlfriend, Latisha ‘Lady’ McBride, 39, drove them to the Highlands Regional Medical Center in Sebring. Spencer was with them.

McBride, said prosecutors, had a hand in the robbery. Her job was to make several buys from Curry to ensure he was in his room and that he had drugs and cash.

What the trio didn’t know was hospital’s must report gunshot wounds. So, while Spivey was being treated hospital staff contacted the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office and now-retired Detective Melanie Kelly responded to the hospital.

She then contacted the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office and detectives Corporal Ted Van Deman and Corporal Rosemary Farless responded and took the trio into custody.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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