Bond reduced for coast man accused of killing wife

Published 12:06 am Sunday, December 2, 2007

A 41-year-old man accused of killing his wife told investigators that he took a gun from his truck during an argument but he doesn’t know how a bullet went between her eyes, a sheriff’s deputy testified Thursday in Justice Court.

James Spiers of Kiln is charged with murder in the Oct. 30 shooting death of Audrey Spiers, 33, at their home in rural north Hancock County. She was found dead from a single shotgun round that entered between her eyes and exited the top of her head.

Deputies arriving at the home found James Spiers lying on the ground next to his dead wife, saying he didn’t mean to shoot her. He was bare-chested and wearing blue jeans, with blood all over his arms and torso.

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Investigator John Luther took a statement from Spiers after the shooting. Luther testified Thursday that Spiers said he got the 12-gauge shotgun from his truck during an argument with his wife, and the gun discharged accidentally.

Luther said Spiers “said he didn’t understand big words.” Luther quoted Spiers as saying in the statement: “’It blowed my wife’s head off. I know the gun went off. I know I ain’t pulled no trigger.”’

According to family members, the couple had argued after Spiers and his daughter’s boyfriend returned to the family home in the evening from work on a construction job. Luther said co-workers told him Spiers had bought a 12-pack of beer and had been drinking at lunch.

Spiers’ daughter, Corrine Spiers, also testified her father had a history of using crystal methamphetamine and had fired guns around the home on previous occasions.

James Spiers has been held at the Pearl River County jail since his arrest.

Justice Court Judge James LaGasse on Thursday reduced James Spiers’ bond from $1 million to $500,000. LaGasse refused to reduce the charge to manslaughter and sent the case to a grand jury.

Spiers’ attorney Donald Rafferty had sought for bond of $50,000 to $75,000, saying Spiers posed no flight risk or danger. Rafferty said the defendant’s family cannot afford the $500,000 bond.