Family Reflects on Three Years Since Spout Spring Murders

Christopher Speight

Spout Spring, VA - It will be exactly three years on Saturday since the bodies of eight people, including a four-year-old boy, were discovered at a Spout Spring home near Appomattox.

Christopher Speight, charged with several counts of capital murder and trying to shoot down a police helicopter, is still waiting to go on trial.

Robert New was an investigator with the Campbell County Sheriff's office, when on January 19, 2010, he heard shots fired come over the radio and his brother's home as the address.

"As soon as we pulled up over the hill, I could see my niece on the front porch. I could see the house," New said, three years later.

The family tries not to dwell on Christopher Speight or how long it's taken for him to go to trial.

Beyond the sound of gunshots, authorities say Shannon Sipe, his wife, Lauralee, and four year-old Joshua were gunned down two days before Lauralee's daughter from a previous marriage returned home from a sleep over. She, Bo Scruggs, Emily Quarles and Quarles' two parents were killed outside.

Barry Letterman, now the Appomattox County Sheriff, was the first officer called to the scene.

"I remember it like it was yesterday," Letterman said, from behind the desk at the sheriff's office.

It has every officer approaching every call more cautiously. Letterman says The tactical team trains once a month and they've updated their equipment.

"We've realized that working with other agencies is key," Letterman added.

Robert New is now a Captain for the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, but he still has the same picture of his four-year-old godson, Joshua, sitting on his new desk.

"We don't play into the media about the court stuff and all those things," explained New. "It's about remembering Josh and Morgan and Laura and Shannon."

New plans on visiting his brother's grave site on Saturday and says his family will get together to swap stories about the good times.

By the end of this month, prosecutors hope to set a date for Christopher Speight's trial, and have it over with by the end of this year.