1. News & Issues
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.
Charles Montaldo

Speight Receives 5 Life Sentences

By February 16, 2013

Follow me on:

A man once ruled incompetent to assist with his defense, has pleaded guilty to charges connected to the shootings of eight people at his Appomattox home. Christopher Speight was sentenced to five life sentences plus 18 years for the January 2010 mass murders in rural Virginia.

Speight pleaded guilty to three counts of capital murder, one count of attempted capital murder of a police officer and five firearms-related charges.

A former security guard, Speight surrendered peacefully on January 20, 2010 after an all-night manhunt in the woods near the home that he shared with his sister, her husband and their two children. He was unarmed and wearing a bulletproof vest when he surrendered.

Prosecutors said Speight had a history of mental problems and was obsessed with the idea that his sister, Lauralee Sipe, was trying to kick him out of the house on 34 acres the two inherited when their mother died in 2006.

Was Sent to Mental Hospital

In June 2010, Speight was committed to a state mental hospital after a court-appointed psychologist found him too mentally ill to help his attorneys in his trial defense.

Speight's victims included his sister Lauralee and her husband Dwayne Sipe, both 38; their son Joshua, 4; Lauralee's daughter Morgan Dobyns, 15; Morgan's friend Emily Quarles, 15; Emily's boyfriend, Ronald "Bo" Scruggs, 16; and Emily's parents, Karen and Jonathan Quarles, both 43.

Speight also pleaded guilty to shooting at a police helicopter, which was forced to make an emergency landing.

After his arrest, investigators found a cache of weapons and explosives at Speight's home.

See Also:
Virginia Man Gets Five Life Terms for Killing 8 in 2010

Earlier Articles:
Grand Jury Indicts Man in Slaying of 8
8 Killed in Virginia Domestic Dispute

What Is Your Opinion?
Discuss The Speight Case

Free Newsletter:
Get the Crime & Punishment Newsletter

Photo: Mug Shot


February 20, 2013 at 7:39 am
(1) Jenn says:

He will be married within a year and freed in about 6 or 7 years, is my cynical guess.

February 20, 2013 at 11:20 pm
(2) Thomas R. McKee says:

I do believe that you are correct about that one!

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. Crime

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.