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Last updated on Friday, May 11, 2012
(SALEM) - The story of Tammy Spengler and Timothy R. Orman relationship ended in a gruesome double murder.
Spengler, who is being represented by Bedford attorney David Smith. Spengler is on trial in Washington Circuit Court, accused in the murder of her boyfriend's father, Timothy M. Orman, and his uncle, Roy "Bum" Orman.
She faces two A felony murder charges, as well as aiding in murder and invasion of privacy.
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, of the Salem Tribune, reports, during Prosecutor Dustin Houchin's opening statement Thursday morning, he alleges Spengler and Orman did everything together - including murder.
On June 5, 2011, Houchin told the jury, "Tammy and her boyfriend blasted to death his father and uncle with shotguns, then lived together in the victim's own home after they wrapped the bodies in plastic, sheets and blankets and dragged them to a shed."
Together, Houchin, said, the couple attempted to clean up the bloody murder scene and "made themselves at home. They lived in the victim's home for two weeks."
Defense attorney Dave Smith said, "It is a love story of sorts. ... Love is a strange thing; people make bad choices, thinking they can protect another, trying to shelter them from the consequences of their own actions"
Smith attempted to paint a picture of a vulnerable young woman under the spell of a manipulative boyfriend who was anything but a good influence.
"It's a very safe statement to say that Timothy was not a good or positive influence on her life. The evidence will show just how unsavory an influence he was.
"We anticipate Timothy is going to testify - I'm gonna call him," he told the jury. And when he does so, Smith promised, "Timothy will tell you he did it. He's gonna tell you Tammy didn't do it."
Houchin, however, told the jury Spengler told numerous people she had killed two people. Her own mother, he said, "Will tell you Tammy said, 'I shot them. Tim and I did it.'" He told the jury they would hear the 911 call during which Spengler told dispatchers two people had been murdered and "I want to turn myself in for it." Spengler said those same words - "I killed two people" - to officers arriving responding to the BP station in Palmyra, where her mother had taken her, telling her daughter she needed to call police.
When officers from the Washington County Sheriff's Department went to 7600 Rosebud Road, the home of Timothy M. Orman, they looked in the blue shed, where Spengler had said they'd find the bodies although she told officers, "I can't remember if I locked it or not." It was locked, and after officers cut the padlock off and opened the door, a swarm of flies rushed out. Inside the shed, on the floor, were two badly decomposed bodies.
The elder Ormans, who were both in their mid-50s, had been shot to death. In the two weeks since, the warm temperatures had led to a state of decomposition so advanced Houchin said a forensic anthropologist had to be called to reconstruct Timothy Orman's head to determine the wound pattern.
By the end of the trial, which Houchin has said he expects to last two weeks, "There will be sufficient evidence to find Tammy Spengler guilty."
Smith, however, told the jurors "people say things they don't necessarily mean" and said his client did just that to "save Tim from his own bad actions." The jury's responsibility, he said, is to question what his client allegedly said and ask "Does it make sense as it relates to the circumstances and evidence? That's the essence of this case. ... Tammy should be found not guilty and the legal process of Timothy should proceed on."
State begins presenting case
The state began presenting its case against Tammy Spengler, putting the law enforcement personnel who spoke with Spengler the night she turned herself in on the stand.They all testified that Spengler told them she committed the crime.
Roger Preston, a Harrison County dispatcher, took Spengler's 911 call. A recording of the call was played. "I'm calling to turn myself in. Two people were murdered and I want to turn myself in." The police officers who responded to the BP station from which Spengler placed the call also testified. Sgt. Terry Bartle from the Harrison County Sheriff's Department said when he approached the two females (Spengler and her mother) and asked what happened, Spengler replied: "I killed two people about a week and a half ago." Prosecutor Dustin Houchin asked, "Are you certain she said 'I'?" "Yes," Bartle responded.
The police officers and detective who helped process the murder scene also testified. The afternoon was devoted to Darryl Terrell of the ISP who helped process the scene. He went through the evidence collected, from the bodies found in the shed to bloody clothing, guns, spent shotgun and rifle shells and blood splatter, piece by piece.
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