Two of the men charged with gunning down Jamey Spurlock in December were released from jail on violent charges less than two weeks before the murder and ordered to be under electronic monitoring.
Kavorious and Demetrice Price had been in jail charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. The head of the electronic monitoring company used by Dougherty County says those devices were not intended for use on violent criminals.
A WALB investigation uncovered that Kovarious Price was indicted on charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, and a gun violation for an October 2013 robbery. Demetrice Price had also been charged with robbery and aggravated assault. Both were out of jail on bond, but ordered to wear electronic monitors and stay at their home on Mobile Avenue.
Judge Denise Marshall signed those orders just 12 days before Spurlock's murder. "Everyone charged with a crime is still innocent until proven guilty. Bond is not necessarily punishment. It is a means to make sure a person returns to court," said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.
The ankle monitoring company, Judicial Electronic Monitoring of Georgia, reported that it lost track of the Price brothers December 21st and December 22nd, the day Spurlock was killed. The company says their tracking device signals returned to normal December 23rd but were lost again on December 26th. December 27th a motion was filed to revoke their bonds.
The brothers were arrested December 30th. Both are now in jail, charged with Jamey Spurlock's murder. Judicial Electronic Monitoring of Georgia's Kathy Taylor Parker said that gangs are posting on the internet how to block electronic monitor signals with aluminum foil, and that the monitors were never intended for violent criminals.
"It doesn't work for everybody," Edwards said. "That's my belief, but in some instances it's good. But the judges have to look at every situation and make those decisions." Electronic monitors have been used to reduce the jail population and its cost to the taxpayers. Currently the Dougherty County jail population is 690, the lowest it has been since 1997. It costs 42 dollars per day per inmate to hold them in jail.
Judge Denise Marshall, Sheriff Kevin Sproul, and officials with the monitoring company all declined to on camera interviews with us today.
Jamey Spurlock's mother did not want to go on camera, but said this was the first she had heard about the electronic monitors, and that it was "just the way the judicial system works."