Actions

Daily Mail reporter argues for access to evidence in Spurlock case

Judge decides to seal case for now
spurlock1.JPG
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jul 18, 2019

GARRARD COUNTY, Ky (LEX 18) — Should all the evidence in the case against David Sparks be made public? That's what was discussed in court Thursday by the defense, the Commonwealth, and a reporter for the British newspaper The Daily Mail.

In a county as small as Garrard, how do you find enough people to make up an impartial jury when details about the case are consistently reported on? That's one question a judge had to consider in the case against David Sparks. The high profile case he's accused in is the disappearance of missing Richmond mother Savannah Spurlock, whose remains were found on property belonging to Sparks' parents.

Sparks was charged with tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse in the case.

Surveillance video captured Sparks, and other men, leaving the bar with the 23-year-old in January of this year. Several months passed before a tip from Sparks' own father led to the discovery of Spurlock's remains. During those months, the story captured the attention of the nation. Strangers from all over advocated and searched for the mother of four.

Earlier this week, details of the case were revealed in a Garrard County courtroom. Officers said that Spurlock's nude body was found in a 19 inch deep grave. Her feet were bound with shipping tape and she was placed in multiple black bags. Police said that she was found buried with a rug from Sparks' bedroom, which he replaced with a similar looking rug. They said that Sparks texted his sister and asked her where she had purchased the previous rug so he could get another one.

In court, detectives also testified that blood belonging to Spurlock was found inside the closet door at a rental home Sparks was living in on Price Court.

There are many details that still haven't been released, and that is where Thursday's court appearance came into play.

A reporter for The Daily Mail argued that since the case had not been sealed, the public should have access to documents and evidence, but prosecutors argued that releasing everything will make it very difficult to find a jury for this trial. He argued that the stories airing on national and local media outlets are getting hundreds of thousands of views already, and he worries that releasing more information will make it even harder to find an impartial jury.

The judge decided to seal the case for now, but he did say when this case moves over to circuit court, the judge there can make the final decision.