A Magnolia woman who brutally stabbed, beat and slit her son's throat was found guilty by a Montgomery County jury and sentenced to 40 years in prison Jan. 10.
Daphne Spurlock, 46, was convicted of Injury to a Child after a four-day trial in the 435th State District Court. She was on trial after an incident where police said she stabbed her son Michael repeatedly, slit his throat and stomped on his head and chest in their Magnolia home March 17, 2012. She told detectives that she was trying to drive demons out of her son. Her defense was insanity.
"I think the (Montgomery County District Attorney's) office did a great job in presenting the case to the jury," said Magnolia police detective Brian Clack, who was one of the first officers on scene. "They were able to convince the jury that she still knew right from wrong."
Montgomery County assistant district attorney Tyler Dunman said the case was difficult to prosecute because of the insanity plea.
Spurlock's attorney, George Parnham agreed and told the Montgomery County Police Reporter it was a hard case for both sides.
“An insanity defense is a very hard defense for a jury to understand, despite the severe presence of a mental illness," Parnham said. "To a large degree that's because of our statute in the state of Texas, which I have been fighting to change the past eight years so it is more in line with other states."
He added that many people who knew Spurlock noticed a change in her behavior weeks before the incident. She was even fired from her job at Walmart because of the changes.
As for Michael, the state awarded custody to his sister Michelle Arroyo. She said that he has went through several forms of rehabilitation and is now walking and talking.
"He is doing really good," Arroyo said. "It's been a challenge, but he's a fighter."
Clack and Magnolia Police Sgt. Lopez were the first to arrive on the scene and started emergency procedures until EMS workers arrived. Clack said that the incident and Michael are something he constantly thinks about.
"I think about it every day," he said. "I've never been involved with anything like this before."
Now that the trial is over, Clack said that he and other members of the Magnolia Police Department are looking forward to being able to see Michael again. They weren't allowed before, as Michael was a potential witness in the trial.
"He is a happy go-lucky kid," Clack said. "We had some stuff we were going to give him for Christmas that we can now give to him in person."