Murder was captured on video

OKEECHOBEE — Although grainy, surveillance camera video shows a figure clad in a blue shirt and white shorts walking along the side of Nab’s Apartments at 4:19 a.m. to an illuminated window near the back of the green building.

The figure left, only to return to the same window at 5:10 a.m.

The figure again walked away, but returned once again at 5:40 a.m. and walked up to the now dark window. Soon, William ‘Bear’ Curry turned the light on in his one-room apartment. Shortly, the person wearing the white shorts left.
Although, this time, the video also shows someone sitting on the front porch of the apartment building.

At 6:06 a.m. the video camera that was installed by FP&L for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shows a man walking up to the window. He pulls open the jalousie window and starts shooting. He then bolts toward the front door of the building.

Minutes later, Curry was dead.

While on the witness stand Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) Detective Corporal Rosemary Farless identified the person wearing the blue shirt and white shorts as Latisha ‘Lady’ McBride.
The man pulling open the window and shooting was identified as Travis Spencer.

Spencer, whose trial began Tuesday, is accused of killing Curry.

Curry was reportedly killed in a botched attempt by Spencer and Terrance Spivey to rob him of cash and drugs.
Spencer is charged with first-degree murder with a firearm, burglary of a dwelling with an assault or battery while armed and robbery with a deadly weapon. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Both Spivey and McBride will stand trial in November for their alleged roles in the killing.

After apparently shooting at Curry through the window on Aug. 8, 2014, Spencer ran inside the rooming house to help his partner battle with the much larger Curry, who stood 6-foot-5 and weighed 260 pounds.

That battle spilled out into the hallway of the building where Curry pushed open the door to another room where his friend Cornelius Lawton lived. Mr. Lawton told the 12-person jury Tuesday he not only saw Curry, a crossfit instructor and boxer, battling the men but also pleading for his life.

“Please don’t kill me! I’ve got two kids! Take whatever you want!” Curry begged.

“I believe he pushed the door open so I could see what was going on. He was really fighting for his life,” testified Mr. Lawton.

Curry was a good enough fighter that he wrestled the gun away from his attackers and began firing. OCSO reports indicate one round grazed the right side of Spencer’s head, and Spivey was shot in the leg.

McBride, reportedly driving a white Ford F-150, allegedly drove the men to Highlands Regional Medical Center in Sebring where Spivey was treated for a gunshot wound. Hospital staff, as they are bound to do, contacted the Highlands
County Sheriff’s Office who sent a deputy and detectives to the hospital around 8:15 a.m. to speak with the trio.
Former HCSO detective Melanie Kelly, who recently retired, told the jury Thursday morning she went to the hospital and collected cell phones belonging to Spencer and Spivey. She also seized Spivey’s wallet and shirts.

Ms. Kelly then gave those items to Cpl. Farless.

OCSO Crime Scene Technician Jackie Moore testified that once she and Cpl. Farless had received a search warrant, they began to scour the cell phones for messages and calls.

A 6:19 a.m. message, sent on Aug. 8, 2014 on Spencer’s phone to an unidentified individual, stated he “… shot cuh by accident.”

With Cpl. Farless on the stand, Assistant State Attorney Ashley Albright published a photo of a black woman wearing a blue T-shirt and white shorts. That woman, said Cpl. Farless, was McBride.

District 19 Medical Examiner Dr. Roger Mittleman told Mr. Albright that he performed the autopsy on Curry and that the man was shot three times — once in the left side that exited the man’s right side; once in the little finger of his right hand; and, once in the right knee.

The last two wounds, he added, were not fatal.

The round that entered Curry’s left side passed through his diaphragm, his stomach and liver before exiting the body. The damage to the liver was lethal.

“There was a tremendous bleed-out here. This was the major injury,” explained Dr. Mittleman.

He also said Curry was shot at close range because there was gunshot stippling around the wound on his side.

Although this was the fatal wound, the medical examiner said there wasn’t a lot of blood coming from that wound.
“Blood tends to stay in the body in situations like this. The skin tends to close around the wound and holds the blood in,” he said under cross examination by defense attorney Richard Seymour.

The trial will continue Friday, Sept. 25, at 9 a.m.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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