HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A Huntsville police officer charged with capital murder in the shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend from Georgia no longer works for the department, where he spent more than two years, the chief said Thursday.
Colleagues of Officer David Michael McCoy, 28, quickly realized he was a person of interest in the killing of Courtney Spraggins, 26, of Trion, Georgia, when they responded to the report of a shooting last Friday, Chief Mark McMurray told a news briefing.
The woman was found dead in a car that was parked at apartments were McCoy lived, he said. McCoy wasn't working at the time, but responding officers knew who he was and realized “that something is not right.”
“They turned in their fellow officer immediately," McMurray said.
McCoy, a former Marine, had worked for the department as a patrol officer for about 2.5 years, the chief said. He was placed on unpaid leave Monday and no longer is a city employee, McMurray said.
Relatives of Spraggins have said she met McCoy through a dating app and was pregnant with his child. The two had a long-distance relationship and saw each other mainly when Spraggins came to Alabama to visit, relatives said.
Attorneys for McCoy have not responded to emails seeking comment on the case, in which they have asked a judge to issue a gag order prohibiting any attorneys or police from talking about the charges. The defense also has asked a court to seal all court files and pretrial hearings.
A lawyer who was originally appointed to represent McCoy, Richard Jensen, asked to withdraw from the case after reports that he had refused to comment on the charges against McCoy unless a Huntsville television station also covered the release of a low-budget movie in which he was involved.
In his request, which was granted by a judge, Jensen wrote that his “personal animus toward the local ‘fake news’ media has spilled over into this case” and he didn't want his personal interactions with the “gotcha media” to hurt the case.
A hearing is set for next week on the request to end public access to the case before the trial, which could result in a death penalty if McCoy is convicted.