, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

August 14, 2009

Jury sentences Spears to 12 years

BEAUMONT — A jury sentenced Arkansas native Tina Spears, 44, to 12 years in prison for the murder of her boyfriend.

The punishment was handed down on Friday in Judge John Stevens’ courtroom.

Spears was found guilty of the Dec. 18, 2007 shooting death of Gerry Harvey.

The defendant claimed she was kidnapped by Harvey from Arkansas and brought to live in a trailer in Sabine Pass on Welch Street. Spears’ audio taped confession played for jurors on Wednesday told a tale of longtime abuse at the hands of a gun toting Harvey, also of Arkansas.

The near 2-hour long tape was recorded Dec. 29, 2007, in Clark County, Ark. in the presence of law enforcement.

On Dec. 18, 2007, Spears said she shot Harvey three times in the temple with a .38 caliber gun because she feared for her life.

Spears said, in the taped version, she returned several times to the camper and was still afraid Harvey would attack her, even though she knew he was dead.

Eventually she went back inside and put plastic sheeting on the floor to pull Harvey onto and about an hour later wrapped Harvey in it and using Duck Tape to seal the wrapped body. She told of the difficulty she had moving Harvey’s body from the futon mattress to a dolly and to a truck. She then placed his body in the back of the truck from the residence, put pillows and a futon mattress on top, and tied it down with a rope.

As she left Sabine Pass headed back to Arkansas she said she threw the gun off the Intracoastal Canal Bridge into the waterway, she said. Driving in a friend’s truck with the dead body of Harvey in the truck bed, Spears eventually dumped the body on Wilber Road in Hamshire.

A land owner discovered Harvey’s body on Dec. 22, 2007.

Spears turned herself in to authorities in Arkansas on Dec. 29, 2007 and was extradited to Texas the next day.

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