Motions will be heard in Spindale murder case

Superior Court sessions today and Friday
Nov. 14, 2013 @ 06:03 AM

Resident Superior Court Judge Tommy Davis will preside over administrative court beginning today. Court continues through Friday and that will conclude the Superior Court sessions in Rutherford County until Dec. 16.

District Attorney Brad Greenway said motions are expected to be heard in at least two cases, including a murder case.

Motions will be presented in the homicide case where Dedrick Shamar Washington, 19,of Shelby is charged in the shooting death of James Lee James of Spindale.

Washington was indicted by the Rutherford County Grand Jury in October.

His attorney John Byrd will present the motions.

Washington is being held in the Rutherford County Detention Facility without bond. 

Washington was indicted for the shooting death of James, 43, on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Mingle City Bar & Grill in Spindale. James, a security officer on duty at the establishment, was described as a "hero" by the Spindale Police Department who said he saved the lives of others at the bar,during an interview after the incident.

Washington was arrested at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 in Shelby after a traffic stop was initiated by Shelby police. 

In an earlier story, Spindale Police Chief R.A. McIntosh said James was "the victim of a senseless and violent altercation which began inside the establishment and ultimately escalated into gunfire in the parking lot." 

Over the course of the police and SBI's investigation, McIntosh said they uncovered just how important a role James played in the incident. 

"As the altercation inside the club became physical, Mr. James along with other security personnel began to take control of the situation. A short time later those involved had been removed and taken outside. At that point, a young man involved in the fight went to a vehicle, retrieved a handgun from the trunk and began walking back towards the building," McIntosh said. McIntosh said James, who was still outside the front door, saw his assailant approaching and without regard for his safety, he began moving patrons back into the bar through the front door out of harm's way. 

He said the alleged assailant, Washington, began firing ultimately expending at least eight rounds towards James and the establishment. 

James was struck once in the neck fatally wounding him. "Without the heroic actions of Jeffrey Lee James, it is my firm belief that many more individuals would have been injured or killed," McIntosh said.

Motions are also expected to be heard from attorney Jarald Willis, Jr. in the case of C.J. Sappenfield, 20, of Bostic, who pled not guilty in Superior Court last month to felony death by motor vehicle and careless and reckless driving. 

Sappenfield is charged in the death of Matthew Lail, 19, of Forest City, who died on May 15 in a vehicle crash on Bostic-Sunshine Highway.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Sappenfield was driving a Honda Civic at 2 a.m. May 15, traveling north at a high rate of speed on Bostic-Sunshine Highway when he lost control and crashed. 

Sgt. Kevin Owens, who assisted in the investigation, said after the accident, the driver apparently thought he was running off the road to the right and overcorrected, traveling approximately 408 feet before the car came to a stop. The car rolled about five times and both youths were ejected. 

Lail died at the scene. Sappenfield was flown to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center for critical injuries. He was released a few days later.