I need to speak out for a moment…

*I will forewarn, I do discuss a very brutal murder scene in this post. Any of my information has been released by the media during the current trial of Atiba Spellman. I will list these at the end of this post.*

Now I don’t do this often because well, I just don’t. This is the Criminology major in me coming out probably but also something I stand firmly on.

I have always been an individual that stays up to date with current events. I check news websites atleast three times a day. To me, that is a responsibility you have as being a community member and citizen.

In December, I shared a Wordless Wednesday that well, spoke a million words to me.
An Unwanted Reality.I need to speak out for a moment... 1

Two lives were brutally ended that night in December. The accused, Atiba Spellman took the stand yesterday in his double-murder trial. When asked if he killed Amiee Varnell and Michael Odriko, he answered “Yes” to both names. He “lost control of his emotions
But while he admits to killing these two individuals, his lawyer says he is not guilty of first-degree murder. His “crime of passion” is really only manslaughter.

According to his defense attorney, there has been no evidence of PREMEDITIATION. No Premeditation? I’m sorry WHAT!?! This individual sat outside Odriko’s home for several hours before the murders took place, despite the no trespassing order that had been put in place against Spellman. No Premditation? Why did Spellman call several individuals and lie saying he was in Waterloo when really, he was sitting outside this apartment?

Amiee Varnell was stabbed over 13 times. The injury that ultimately killed her was a stab wound to the neck.
Michael Odriko suffered multiple sharp-force injuries as well. One strike had so much force, it broke through his skull.

The crime scene descriptions are graphic, but the reality of such a brutal crime. “lost control of emotions” is NOT AN EXCUSE FOR MURDER. Atiba Spellman ended the lifes of two individuals. He knew what he was doing, he tried covering his tracks after making numerous threats that “they would pay”.

This is Murder. Not Manslaughter.

Ames Tribune-Atiba Spellman Murder Trial Coverage
KCCI-Defense:Spellman Snapped, Committed Crime of Passion

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  1. Emotions are usually crimes of passion, not premeditated actions. As in something escalated to that crime, so he cant be charged with planning it.

  2. I think I’m probably with you on this one Jenna. The phone calls are what did it for me. If you have the clarity to set up even the shadow of an alibi, you know what you are about to do.

  3. I see what you are saying but wouldn’t you have to say, emotions or things leading up to are a constant beforehand of murder? You wouldn’t just “plan a murder” without something happened to make a person find so much anger and hate to end another’s life.

  4. I think crimes of passion are still murder. My cousin was shot in the head while she slept by her husband because he got mad. You can bet he was convicted of murder and is sitting in jail for the rest of his life!

  5. Murder is murder as far as I am concerned, if oyu get into a fight in a bar and accidentally knock someone to the ground, they bang their head and die, maybe that was manslaughter, you were fistfighting, but to take a knife and knowingly stab someone repeatedly, even if it was not thought out beforehand, when the knife first went in did you think it would tickle? Hopefully any judge/jury will realize this and punish hiom as much as they possibly can

  6. Yikes! I think it’s murder for sure. I get mad at people, but it doesn’t mean I’m gonna go stab them, KWIM. I think he knew what he was doing.

  7. I’d say murder. If there was already a no trespassing order against him, this shows the people were already aware he was dangerous to them. If he made phone calls saying he was somewhere else that night, he was covering his tracks.

  8. I agree. This is murder! It is probably a crime of passion but he was setting up his alibi beforehand. Whether he knew at the time what was going to actually take place is beside the point. He KNEW that something was going to take place.

  9. I politely disagree.

    Premeditated murder and crimes of passion are not the same thing.

    I spent 5 years in college for this stuff so I pretty much have zero emotions involved when answering, but coming from a law perspective, the punishments are different for a reason and I agree.

    Its very easy to lose your temper in a fight and something bad happens versus going somewhere to plan to kill someone.

    Im not saying its RIGHT, but it is a different crime.


  10. I agree! If you are lying about where you are then you know what you’re about to do is wrong. A crime of passion to me means that it happens in the heat of the moment. If he was sitting outside their apartment for a couple of hours then it wasn’t it the heat of the moment. It was murder! So sad!

  11. Crime of passion? Not with sitting there for hours and calling around making alibis.

    Even if it was, that does not excuse the severity of the injuries. Manslaughter is not punishment enough.

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