DA: Justice slow, will be served

Published 4:30 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016

“Trial by media seldom results in justice served” is what District Attorney Steve Billy said following allegations of mishandling the case of an East Brewton boy who died after being struck by a car in February.

Devon Spencer, 12, and a friend were walking to school just before 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 11 when he was struck by a car. He later died from his injuries.

The driver of the car, a minor, has not been publicly identified. To date, no charges have been filed.

Previously, Spencer’s family alleges the driver fled the scene after striking the boy and that police have not interviewed any eyewitnesses to the accident.

Jennifer Spencer, the boy’s aunt, told The Brewton Standard that police have not been forthcoming or proactive in their investigation.

“As is standard procedure, these agencies have been thoroughly investigating this case and will present all evidence collected to the good citizens of this county at a future grand jury session, after their investigation is fully completed, for their consideration,” Billy said.

Billy said to secure justice to all involved, investigations must be conducted “professionally and according to the highest standards.”

“And that is exactly what law enforcement and this office have always done, and will continue to do,” Billy said. “No one is more dedicated to finding the truth, and pursuing justice than this office.

“In order for the justice system to work, the necessary steps must be taken – even when that process can seem slow to hurting families and the public,” he said. “Justice does not rest, and it is not inattentive in this case.

“As is normally true and pursuant to Alabama law as it relates to juveniles, the facts in this case are not publicly released,” he said. “I understand the curiosity of the public for details, but trial by media seldom results in justice served.”

Those with any information regarding this case are asked to contact the DA’s office at 251.867.0239.

“And please be prepared to give a written and sworn statement as it relates this case as well as your contact information if you are needed to testify at a future trial or other court proceeding,” Billy said.