HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The preliminary hearing for former Huntsville Police Officer David McCoy Friday included a number of startling details, from McCoy’s apparent struggle with a love triangle that included a fiancée and a pregnant girlfriend, to his telling police he didn’t know the victim, shortly before they found his picture in the visor of her car.
The testimony from Special Agent Brittney Hayes with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency included details about McCoy’s relationship with the victim, Courtney Spraggins, the fact that gun residue was reported on his hands, her phone was found in his closet, and that he called 911 asking if they’d heard gunshots in the area, where Spraggins was killed.
McCoy is accused of shooting and killing the 26-year-old Spraggins at the Weston Ranch apartment complex on January 7. According to Spraggins’ family, she was seven months pregnant with McCoy’s child at the time.
Following the roughly hour-long hearing, Madison County District Judge Linda Coats determined there was sufficient evidence to send the case to a grand jury.
McCoy, who previously served as a Marine, was off-duty at the time of the shooting. He lived at the apartment complex where the shooting happened and occasionally offered security for the buildings.
Agent Hayes said ALEA was called to investigate the case on the day of the shooting.
She said while Spraggins was McCoy’s girlfriend, he had a fiancee named Abigail, who he lived with at Weston Ranch at the time. Hayes added she didn’t think Spraggins had any knowledge of his engagement.
The special agent described how McCoy and Spraggins met on a dating app and that from mid-August through January she would travel to Huntsville from North Carolina to visit him. Hayes added McCoy would send Spraggins money through Venmo to pay for her hotel rooms.
Hayes said Spraggins quit her job in December and arrived in Huntsville on Dec. 17 to move in with McCoy, but he told her that he “needed more time.”
At that point, Hayes said Spraggins drove from Huntsville to Maryland. She described a text message exchange between the two in December where Spraggins asked him what she was supposed to do.
Hayes said McCoy responded, “a bullet to the head sounds good to me.”
Eventually, McCoy told Spraggins to come back and that he was ready to take care of her. She arrived in Huntsville on Jan. 7 and McCoy buzzed her into the gate of the complex at 8:04 a.m., according to Hayes.
Hayes said McCoy and Spraggins went for a drive in his truck and arrived back at the apartment complex at about 9:40 a.m. She added McCoy told several stories during his eventual police interview. The last version he gave was that Spraggins got out of the truck and got into her car.
He apparently told Hayes he didn’t remember how fast the shooting happened. He just remembered running with the gun up to his apartment.
After the shooting, McCoy told Hayes he called the HPD non-emergency number asking if they had received any shots fired calls in the area. He had changed clothes and thrown his gun in the closet, according to Hayes.
He told the dispatcher he had been awakened by a gunshot from a small-caliber gun. Hayes said in the last version of his story. McCoy said he then got off the phone and went down to look into the gunshot.
Hayes said the first responding officer and McCoy began to look at the crime scene and found Spraggins shot in the head in the driver seat of her car.
McCoy told the first responding officer, “I think I’ve seen her once,” but told other investigators, “I don’t know her,” according to Hayes.
Hayes testified responding officers found a picture of McCoy in the visor of Spraggins’ car and took him in for questioning which lasted five hours. At the end of his interview, McCoy said, “I did it,” according to Hayes.
McCoy’s fiancée was also brought in for questioning, and she mentioned a person named Courtney was “blowing up” his phone in December.
Hayes said McCoy tested positive for gunshot residue and they found a pistol, that was not his service weapon, and Spraggins’ locked phone in a closet in his apartment. She added because of the number of wrong passcode attempts on Spraggins’ phone investigators still cannot get into her phone.
Mail addressed to Spraggins and ultrasound pictures were found in McCoy’s patrol vehicle.
During the defense’s questioning of Hayes, she said there were no eyewitnesses, and all crime scene evidence was photographed and collected. It will be sent out for testing soon.
She also said every seat in Spraggins’ car was packed with her belongings, except the driver’s seat, and that there was no weapon in the car.
Under defense questioning, Hayes also testified that McCoy had helped a responding officer perform CPR on Spraggins.
Hayes recalled what McCoy was like during his interview. She said she didn’t believe he was under any influence, he was talkative, alert, engaged but at times would break down as if he were going to cry, but she saw no tears.
Hayes said McCoy told her he saw Spraggins as a threat because she threatened his livelihood, he had a fiancée and was planning on getting married in April.
DNA from Spraggins’ unborn child, Addison Mae, was sent off for testing.
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Madison County Chief Deputy District Attorney Tim Gann said the DA’s office does anticipate seeking the death penalty against McCoy and filing two additional capital charges against him.