Two people accused of murdering a Polk County police detective, and former Floyd County Sheriff’s Office deputy, pleaded not guilty and a television station was allowed to film the pre-trial hearing over objections from defense attorneys.
Samantha Michelle Roof, 22, and Seth Brandon Spangler, 31, are both charged with malice murder, felony murder, felony obstruction of law enforcement officers, aggravated assault and theft by receiving stolen property. Additionally, Spangler is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The two are accused for the murder of Polk County Police Detective Kristen Hearne and for shooting at Officer David Goodrich while the two officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle on Sept. 29, 2017.
Attorneys from the Georgia Capital Defender office representing Spangler argued with the help of three different expert witnesses that any further pre-trial coverage would adversely affect the ability to gather a fair jury for the coming trial.
Judge Michael Murphy ruled to allow for WSB-TV to film the pre-trial proceeding.
Murphy made it clear during his decision — following hours of testimony and document review — that he was going to allow cameras in during pre-trial motions, but that he was putting stipulations on what he would allow.
He also added that since the crime happened in Polk County, it is in the best interest of the court to hold the trial locally.
"My goal is to try this case in Polk County, but I don't know if that is possible," he said.
The court then completed the arraignment for Roof and Spangler, and set a date for Roof's attorneys to present arguments and hear rulings on motions previously filed in the case. Roof and her attorney will be back in court on April 20.