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Spain arraigned: DA files official murder charge; not guilty plea entered on defendant’s behalf

Last weekend’s homicide suspect, accused of shooting twice with a shotgun a family member, will now face the state’s charge leveled against him as a defendant, making his first appearance before the the District Court’s judge Thursday.

It was anticipated shortly after the shooting took place — even stated as “highly likely” by officials — the state would pursue felony murder charges against 34-year-old Anthony Spain, which proved a good assessment as the Okfuskee County District Attorney’s Office filed a first-degree murder charge on Spain Wednesday.

The charge follows the allegation that Spain shot to death his wife’s mother Saturday at his home with a 12-gauge during an argument-turned-physical-altercation.

Spain went before Associate District Judge Maxey Reilly where it was decided to continue the case to a later date, giving ample and needed time to Spain’s appointed criminal defense attorney, Curt Allen, who asked the judge for time to review the proper police documents, reports, information and other known evidence in the case to better know how to advise the alleged murderer.

Reilly entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Spain after he waived the Court’s reading of the information on the charge.

It was noted during the initial appearance hearing that Reilly — during her time as an Okfuskee County Assistant District Attorney — had previously prosecuted Spain in a separate case some years before, which could have given his defense attorney a possible chance to request a new judge for the defendant’s preliminary hearing.

Allen told Reilly he would like to waive an conflict of interest, requesting to proceed with Reilly overseeing as judge for the prelim.

The case was reset for another pre-hearing conference on January 31 at 9:30 a.m. in Reilly’s courtroom where it seems likely a date for the defendant’s preliminary hearing will be set.

The judge made it clear that her continuance for status was to ensure Mr. Allen has had the chance to go over all court documents, investigative reports, police reports and other pertinent information in the case before a date for the prelim was to be set.

No bond was set for Spain, and he will remain in the custody of the Okfuskee County Jail, pending further hearings, a possible jury trial, conviction or acquittal.

The Okfuskee County District Court gave Spain’s case the reference number CF-19-05

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