A man found dead in a Beulah in late December suffered multiple stab wounds to the back, three gunshot wounds to the head and was drowned in a well, testimony revealed in a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning.
Hubert Timothy Sprayberry, 58, of Valley, was arrested and charged with the murder of James Edmund Clark, 72, on Dec. 30 after the body was found in a well in Sprayberry’s yard.
Judge Steven Speakman found probable cause to send Sprayberry's case to a grand jury. He is charged with one county of intentional murder and being held without bail in the Lee County Jail.
The night of Sprayberry’s arrest, he tried to get his sister, Sabrina Brown, to go to Georgia with him, according to testimony from Lee County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Greg Sumner.
Sumner testified that after investigators arrived at Sprayberry’s house they examined the concrete well, which was covered by a concrete lid.
Sumner described the well, which was 23-24 feet deep, as having “a god-awful stench.”
Two shoes were floating on top of the water in the well. A hook was lowered into the well which first hooked onto two cinderblocks linked by rope, Sumner testified.
The second time the hook was lowered, it hooked onto Clark’s body.
The body had several stab wounds as well as three gunshot wounds to the head, Sumner testified. There were no exit wounds and all three were recovered in Clark’s head.
A plastic bag had been tied around his head and a cinderblock had been tied around his neck. Another cinderblock had been tied around his feet, Sumner testified.
The body was decomposed, Sumner said, so it took some time to positively ID the body as Clark’s through DNA evidence.
Sumner said Sprayberry’s belongings were packed into boxes and bags.
The mattress in his room was gone and Sumner said that investigators discovered the charred remains of a mattress in a fire pit outside.
Sprayberry’s van was also searched and a luminol test revealed blood in the vehicle. Sumner testified that luminol test works by reacting with hemoglobin in blood.
Blood was found in the van that Sprayberry told investigators belonged to a deer he had transported in his van.
No date has been set for grand jury deliberations in the case.