Murder victim fought attackers

OKEECHOBEE — “Please don’t shoot me! I have two kids!”

Those were the last spoken by William ‘Bear’ Curry to Terrance Torell Spivey just minutes before he died with a gunshot wound to the stomach.

Terrance Spivey

Terrance Spivey

Tuesday, April 26, Spivey went on trial for his alleged part in Curry’s death.

Spivey, 24, is charged with felony murder with a firearm, burglary of a dwelling with an assault or battery while armed and robbery with a deadly weapon.

Curry, 39, was a well known drug dealer who conducted his business out of Nab’s Apartments, 580 N.E. 13th Ave. The boxer and mixed martial arts enthusiast was actually shot by Travis Arterius Spencer, who has already been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to prison.

Prosecutors laid out for the 12-member jury Tuesday morning the chain of events as they transpired during the early morning hours of Aug. 8, 2014.

Assistant state attorney Ashley Albright told jurors how Latisha ‘Lady’ McBride, 39, made several trips down the apartment building’s hallway to the third door on the right to Curry’s apartment for the purpose of buying “small amounts of drugs.”

Hers was a reconnaissance mission, of sorts.

She kept buying drugs to not only make sure Curry was in his room, but also that he had money.

The trio’s plan was to rob ‘Bear’ of his drugs and his cash. Spencer and Spivey just didn’t take into account how hard Curry would fight to stay alive.

“While he didn’t have a gun, he certainly didn’t give up without a fight,” Mr. Albright told the jury in his opening statement.

Now that everyone knew Curry was in his room and was flush with cash, Spivey made the trek down that hallway shortly before 6 a.m. and knocked on the dealer’s door with the alleged intention of robbing him.

Spencer was standing outside Curry’s window with a handgun.

When Spencer peered through the small window and saw Curry and Spivey fighting, he started shooting into the room. He managed to shoot Curry in the right knee and the abdomen, and his partner in the leg.

The two bleeding men, still fighting, fell into the hallway where Curry pushed open the door to Cornelius Lawton’s room which was directly across the hallway from Curry’s room.

“There was blood everywhere,” testified Lawton, 31.

Lawton said he feels Curry pushed his apartment door open so he could see Spivey.

At some point the men separated and Curry, nude from the waist down, stumbled to the home of his niece that was just a short distance from the apartment building.

Curry made his way to the bedroom window of Kiwana Jones, 30. He knocked on her window to wake her and get help.

She made her way to out to the carport where she saw Curry.

“He kept looking at me and said ‘help me, help me,’” sobbed Ms. Jones while on the witness stand. “There was blood everywhere. He fell and his eyes rolled back in his head.”

Assistant state attorney Don Richardson then played Ms. Jones’ 9-1-1 call.

“Where’s he been shot?” asked the dispatcher.

“I don’t know. I just see blood. His eyes are rolling in the back of his head.

Bear talk to me! Bear talk to me!” Ms. Jones shrieked as the dispatcher tried to calm her.

The first Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office deputy to arrive on the scene at 6:07 a.m. was Deputy Sergeant Shannon Peterson, who has since been promoted to lieutenant.

After 23 years on the job Lt. Peterson has learned a thing or two and carries a small tape recorder in the left chest pocket of his bulletproof vest.

Curry, clad only in a dark T-shirt, kept rolling around on the ground despite the lieutenant telling him to be still.

“He was in severe pain,” Lt. Peterson told the jury Tuesday morning.

Mr. Richardson played the lieutenant’s tape, and he could be heard asking Curry who shot him? In a barely audible voice, Curry answered: Travis. Travis Spencer.

“Stay still,” said the deputy to Curry. “Quit flopping around. I need you to stay still.”

“I’m dying,” gasped Curry.

“You’re not dying,” replied Lt. Peterson.

But, as it turned out Curry’s premonition was correct.

Spencer was found guilty in September of 2015 of first-degree felony murder, burglary of a dwelling with an assault or battery while armed and robbery with a deadly weapon. He was then sentenced in October 2015 to serve three life sentences.

McBride entered into a plea deal with the state and is serving an 18-year sentence after she was adjudicated guilty of being an accessory after the fact. Besides making the drug buys from Curry, she also drove Spivey to a Sebring hospital where he received treatment for his gunshot wound.

She is currently housed in the Homestead Correctional Institution.

Spivey’s trial will continue this morning in Courtroom A at the Okeechobee County Judicial Complex.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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