Presumed traffic death could actually be homicide

Published 9:05 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What initially looked like a traffic death could be a homicide, authorities said Tuesday.

Brewton resident Marlon J. Spears, 39, was found dead in a car that had reportedly been involved in a crash at the intersection of U.S. 31 North and Mason Mill Pond Road Monday night.

Escambia County Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said Spears’ death was discovered after dispatchers received a call about the car wreck just before midnight Monday.

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“A call came in that there had been a wreck and that a person could be seen slumped over the steering wheel of the automobile,” Lambert said. “First responders arrived on the scene, and the victim was pronounced dead inside the vehicle.”

But as Escambia County deputies and Alabama State Troopers investigated further, they determined Spears may have died from injuries other than those in a vehicle crash.

“After an initial search at the scene, officers determined Spears had suffered a gunshot wound,” Lambert said, who added that there was also evidence of damage from a bullet in the car.

Lambert said a preliminary investigation has given officers little information; however, he said deputies believe that Spears may have suffered the gunshot wound somewhere other than in Escambia County.

“Right now, we are continuing to look into every possibility surrounding this case,” Lambert said. “We are ruling it as a homicide until we can complete the investigation.”

Lambert said investigators with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department are working with officers and investigators wit the Brewton Police Department, Evergreen Police Department and the Conecuh County Sheriff’s Department in connection with this case.

“We are still looking for answers,” Lambert said. “We are asking that anyone with information that may be related to this case call us with those details.”

Escambia County Sheriff’s Department investigators can be reached at 867-0304.