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UPDATE: Willie Copley Sentenced in 2012 Wayne County Murder

By: Kristen Schneider, Brad Myers Email
By: Kristen Schneider, Brad Myers Email

UPDATE 6/21/13 @ 1 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One of three men charged in connection with the murder of James Spurlock learned his prison sentence Friday.

James Spurlock.was killed at his home in Radnor on May 30, 2012.

Last month, Willie Copley, 27, of Dunlow pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and no contest to murder in the death of Spurlock.

Copley says he went to Spurlock's home with a gun and demanded pills. He says they exchanged fire and Spurlock was killed.

Spurlock's seven-year-old son was at home when the murder happened.

Friday, during a hearing in Wayne County Common Pleas Court, Copley was sentenced to life with mercy on the no contest murder plea. The sentence makes him eligible for parole after 15 years in prison. He was also given 60 years on the robbery plea. The sentences will be served concurrently.

Before he was sentenced,Spurlock’s wife and sister addressed the court. Copley also made his own statement.

In April, Dylan Jarrells, 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in the case with the murder charge dropped.

Jarrells was sentenced to 10 years in prison and placed in the Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders. If he successfully completes the program, which takes 6 months to two years, he will finish his sentence with probation. Jarrells is Salmons' cousin.

Just last month, investigators arrested is Jessie Ray Salmons Jr., 25, of Dunlow.

Salmons Jr. is charged with murder and armed robbery in connection with the murder of James Spurlock.

Sgt. S.G. Poff with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office tells WSAZ.com that Salmons Jr. supplied the gun and and the ATV that the shooter used in the murder. He is also the cousin of one of the other suspects.

Poff says Salmons Jr. was not present when the murder happened, but he helped before, during and after the crime.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest.



UPDATE 6/4/13 @ 10:25 a.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A third arrest has been made in a murder that happened in the Radnor area in 2012.

Jessie Ray Salmons Jr., 25, of Dunlow, was arrested by Wayne County Sheriff's Deputies Monday night.

Salmons Jr. is charged with murder and armed robbery in connection with the murder of Jame Spurlock.

Spurlock was killed at his home on May 30, 2012.

Sgt. S.G. Poff with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office tells WSAZ.com that Salmons Jr. supplied the gun and and the ATV that the shooter used in the murder. He is also the cousin of one of the other suspects.

Poff says Salmons Jr. was not present when the murder happened, but he helped before, during and after.

This is the third arrest in this case.

The arrest was made less than a week after Willie Copley, another suspect in the case, made a plea deal, agreeing to give up information that could lead to more arrests.

Last week, Copley pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and no contest to murder in the death of Spurlock.

Copley says he went to Spurlock's home with a gun and demanded pills. He says they exchanged fire and Spurlock was killed.

Spurlock's seven-year-old son was at the home when the murder happened. He tells a different story, and was going to be the key witness in the case against Copley. He said he was outside playing, when Copley went in, took his dad to a back bedroom and killed him.

In April, Dylan Jarrells, 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in the case with the murder charge dropped.

Jarrells was sentenced to 10 years in prison and placed in the Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders. If he successfully completes the program, which takes 6 months to two years, he will finish his sentence with probation. Jarrells is Salmons' cousin.

Copley will be sentenced later this month.

Salmons Jr. was arraigned Tuesday morning. No bond was set.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/28/13 @ 11 a.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A seven-year-old child would have been the key witness if a robbery and murder case would have gone to trial.

Willie Copley was expected to go on trial in the death of James Spurlock on Monday. However, just before his trial got underway Copley pleaded guilty to first degree robbery and no contest to murder in the death of Spurlock.

On March 31, 2012, Copley claims he went to Spurlock's home with a pistol and demanded Oxycodone pills. Copley says they exchanged gunfire and Spurlock was killed.

However, according to Prosecutor Tom Plymale, Spurlock's son, who was outside the home when Copley arrived, tells a different story. He says Copley knocked Spurlock down and drug him to the bedroom and shot him.

As part of the plea agreement, Copley will provide truthful information leading to additional arrests in the case.

Prosecutor Tom Plymale said this agreement was acceptable to the victim's family. "The primary concern was not to have to put the boy through this if they could avoid it and they want to make sure that anyone else involved in this would be brought to justice," Plymale said.

Copley's attorney, Don Jarrell, said this agreement was in the interest of justice.

"This is just another case of where drugs have destroyed not just one, but two families," Jarrell said. "This gives closure to the victims and gives daylight to Willie so he can be productive, get out and put this part of his life behind him."

In exchange for Copley's plea, he could receive parole after 20 years of a 60 year sentence.

Copley is scheduled to be sentenced on June 21 at 9 a.m.

Dylan Alexander Jarrells, 19, was also charged in the case. with the murder charge dropped.

Jarrells was sentenced to 10-years in prison and placed in the Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders. If he successfully completes the program the,which takes 6 months to two years, he will finish his sentence with probation.



UPDATE 7/6/12 @ 12:13 p.m.
WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two men charged in connection with the murder of James Spurlock have been indicted.

Dylan Jarrells, 18, and Willie Copley, 26, both of Dunlow, have been indicted by a Wayne County Grand Jury. Both men are charged with first-degree robbery and murder.

Spurlock, 46, of Radnor, was shot and killed at his home in June.

Jarrells and Copley will be back in court for pre-trial hearings on August 30. A trial date has been set for September 11.

Both men are still being held in the Western Regional Jail.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/7/12 @ 10:45 a.m.
WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The two men charged with murder of James Spurlock, 46, of Radnor, were back in court Thursday.

Dylan Jarrells, 18, and Willie Copley, 26, both of Dunlow, appeared in Wayne County Magistrate Court for their preliminary hearing on murder and armed robbery charges.

Both men waived their cases to the next grand jury that meets on July 6.

The family of Willie Copley sat in the courtroom and wept as Copley's 3-year-old son talked to his father.

Spurlock was shot and killed at his home last Thursday night.

Investigators believe the men committed the murder as part of a robbery to steal Spurlock’s pain pills.

Copley and Jarrells were arrested early Sunday morning. Both are in the Western Regional Jail.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 6/4/12 @ 6 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W Va. (WSAZ) -- New details have emerged about what led to the shooting death of a Wayne County man.

If you suspect it had something to do with drugs, police say you're right. In this case, detectives believe the suspects committed murder in the act of robbery -- stealing a man's legitimate pain pills for illegal gain.

It was a quick solve, thanks to the keen eye of the victim's young son, who witnessed his father's murder and got a good look at the men responsible.

“If it wasn't for him, they would have never caught these guys,” Billy Spurlock said.

That's why Spurlock is calling his nephew, Jayden, a hero. Jayden is his nephew -- the 7-year-old son of his brother, Jim Spurlock.

According to sheriff's deputies, two men pulled up to the Spurlock home in the Radnor area of Wayne County on four-wheelers. That was about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, and Jayden, who had been playing next door, ran home to see what was going on.

According to the criminal complaint, Jayden said the two men "shook his hand and his daddy's hand and seemed like good guys." But, deputies say it wasn't long after that that one of them men took Jim into another room and shot and killed him.

Deputies later arrested Dylan Jarrells and Willie Copley for the crime murder and armed robbery.

“They knew he got his medication that day, and that's the reason he come to rob him over his OxyContin he had,” Billy said.

In fact, deputies say Jim had filled his prescription that day -- 168 pills worth a street value of about $5,000.

“We never thought we'd lose our brother this way,” said Pam Mathys, Jim’s sister.

Jim's brother and two of his sisters traveled to Wayne County searching for answers. They say all signs point to Jim's wife, Angela Spurlock.

Did they have a good relationship?” WSAZ.com's Carrie Cline asked.

“No. He was going through therapy. He was ready to file for divorce. He was done,” Jim said.

And, according to the criminal complaint, a neighbor saw Angela Spurlock "sell pills to Copley the day of the murder."

“It was cold-hearted,” Billy said.

Now, the family is anxious to get to their nephew, who's in Child Protective Services, and take him home with them.

“He loved me to death. I think he'd be happy to come home with me,” Billy said.

Billy says he'd consider it a honor to raise Jayden. He says Jim helped raise his son many years ago.

Spurlock has not been charged in connection with this case. She's in jail on unrelated charges for writing bad checks. Copley and Jarrells will be arraigned in court Wednesday morning.



UPDATE 6/3/12 @ 2:30 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Wayne County Sheriff's Deputies say two men have been charged with the murder of a man in Radnor.

Deputies say Dylan Alexander Jarrells and Willie Jay Copley have been arrested and charged with the murder of James Spurlock.

Spurlock, 46, was shot and killed at his home in Radnor Thursday night during a home invasion.

Both men are being held in the Western Regional Jail.

No other details have been released.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/1/12 @ 5:30 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A father is dead, his young son a witness to the crime.

It happened Thursday evening while the sun was still up.

James Spurlock, 46, lived in the Radnor area of Wayne County. That's where a visit by two mystery men on four-wheelers ended in murder. This could prove a challenging case to solve when the only eyewitness to the crime is 7 years old and very upset after watching his father get shot multiple times.

“Jaden come to the creek and said, 'Crystal, you gotta come help me. Those guys just shot my dad,' ” said Crystal Barton tearfully.

They're words Barton will never forget. She was cutting her grass about 8:30 p.m. Thursday when she saw two men pull into Spurlock's yard on four-wheelers.

“They were sitting in the gravel spot. One guy was bent over with a camouflage hoodie on his head, and the other guy had went inside,” Barton said.

She said that's when Jaden, who had been playing in her yard with her children, ran home to see what was going on.

“Then, a few seconds later I came back around and that's when I saw them come out and take off flying ... I mean flying,” Barton said.

After Jaden came screaming for help, Barton ran inside to find Spurlock on the floor with two gunshot wounds.

“Jim was laying on the floor, and it looked like there was a struggle because his gun was on the floor in front of him,” Barton said.

Spurlock wasn't talking, though. Barton remembers him struggling to just get a breath. It wasn't long after that that police arrived, and the shooting turned into a murder investigation just feet from where Barton lives and her children play.

“It's scary. It's really scary. It was still daylight and for someone to just pull in and do it, you know,” Barton said.

She says Spurlock's wife, Angela, was not home at the time of the shooting and didn't come home until about 1 a.m. Friday. Barton says it wasn't long after that that she was taken away in a cruiser car.

So far, there has been no word of any arrests. The sheriff's department says they have questioned several people, but will not say any more than that.

Spurlock and his family had lived in that location in Radnor for about seven years. Neighbors say he didn't work and suffered from extreme back pain.



UPDATE 6/1/12 @ 10 a.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Wayne County Sheriff's Department has released the name of a man who was shot and killed at his home Thursday night.

Investigators say it all happened during a home invasion in Radnor about 9 p.m.

They say the homeowner, James Spurlock, 46, was shot and killed. He died at the scene.

Deputies say they are treating the incident as a homicide.

Deputies say it does not appear that anything was taken from the home.

They are not releasing any other information at this time.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 5/31/12 @ 11:58 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Authorities are investigating a deadly shooting in Wayne County.

It happened sometime before 10 Thursday night in the Radnor area.

Wayne County Sheriff's deputies say the person was shot and killed during a home invasion, and confirmed it is being treated as a homicide.

Deputies on scene did not release any other details.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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