Additional charges under Brody’s Law may be filed against David McCoy for the fatal shooting of Courtney Spraggins and their unborn child
An officer with the Huntsville Police Department in Huntsville, Alabama has been arrested and charged with capital murder. 28-year-old David McCoy was initially placed on administrative leave after the incident but has now been fired. He had been with the department for two and a half years prior to his official separation on January 13.
According to WAAY-TV, McCoy is being held in the Madison County Jail without bond. McCoy is accused of shooting his pregnant girlfriend in the head while she was sitting in her vehicle at the Weston Ranch Apartment Complex on Lawsons Ridge Drive at around 11 a.m. on Friday, January 7, 2022. He is scheduled to appear in court to answer to the charge on January 28.
The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) will be spearheading the case and has indicated that additional charges may be filed once their investigation is complete. The potential new charges would revolve around Brody’s Law, a bill signed into law in 2006 which makes it a crime to kill or harm an unborn child. According to SBI Captain Jason Peak, they will turn over all of their findings to the Madison County District Attorney once they are complete.
The name of McCoy’s victim, Courtney Spraggins, was revealed to WAAY-TV and WAFF-TV by her parents. According to Spraggins' parents, she was seven months pregnant. They say that 26-year-old Spraggins met McCoy on the dating site, Tinder, and regularly traveled between Maryland, North Carolina, and Alabama to see them, her other children, and McCoy. The relationship with McCoy had become strained since she told him about her pregnancy. It was the couple’s second pregnancy, but the first had ended in a miscarriage.
Spraggins’ father, Ed Walter, claims that on Thanksgiving, McCoy had threatened violence and she had quickly returned home to Maryland. In an interview with WAFF-TV, her mother said: “From my understanding, he was not happy about this pregnancy. He took her out to a cornfield. He has his gun on him. He looked at her. Apparently, it was in his truck. She said, ‘David what are you doing with that?’ He says, ‘I’m going to kill myself.’”
Her parents say that she spent the holidays with her family in Maryland, and they gave her a baby shower. Walter claims that before the murder on Friday, McCoy had sent his daughter money for hotels and gas to return to Huntsville, asking her to come back to see him. Walter says she contacted him on Friday morning to let him know she had safely arrived. He shared the content of their texts:
“She texted me, ‘Daddy I’m here.’ I said, ‘Baby girl, I love you, be careful get some rest. She said, ‘Ok Daddy, I love you too.’ That was about 10:16 a.m. and I guess 20 minutes to a half-hour later she was killed.”
Spraggins’ mom, Kim, added that her daughter never even made it out of the car after her arrival, according to al.com.
Sources speaking to WAAY-TV said that McCoy called 911 to report the shooting, claiming that he had discovered a possible suicide in the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lived and worked as a courtesy officer. He claimed not to know her, but investigating officers found photos of him in the car, text messages on Spraggins’ mobile phone, and other evidence that refute his claims. The content of the texts has not yet been revealed. What officers did not find in the car was a weapon she might have used to kill herself.
It is not yet known what led up to the shooting. Spraggins’ parents say that McCoy was unhappy about the pregnancy and had not yet told his parents about it. Sources speaking to WAFF.TV claim that McCoy had a fiancé in the Huntsville area. Her parents say that their daughter didn’t know but had suspected he was cheating on her. It isn’t clear if this was a planned ambush or an argument that ended in violence.
Initially, police contacted Spraggins’ ex-husband. He texted her parents asking what number authorities should use to contact them. While waiting for the official call, they saw news of their daughter’s death emerging in online news reports.
Whitney Tillman and Richard Jensen, defense attorneys hired to represent McCoy, have filed a motion for a gag order in the case based on what they say is inaccurate reporting by the media and subsequent commentary by people that might taint a future jury pool. They have also asked that all pre-trial hearings be closed to the public. A hearing on the gag order has been scheduled for January 18.
According to WAAY-TV, the motion was filed only hours after they refused to cover Jensen’s personal movie premiere on January 21 in exchange for an interview with him. WAAY-TV has since contacted the Alabama Bar Association about ethics concerns.