Spriggs, 29, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to 20 charges, including malice murder, felony murder, several counts of aggravated assault and false imprisonment stemming from the shooting death of John Gregory Davis, 46, at his Old Dalton Road home on Nov. 17, 2009, and the shooting of another man at a home on Clinton Drive.
According to the Georgia Code, a plea of guilty but mentally ill means that a defendant can be imprisoned or jailed upon sentencing. There is another type of plea mental health based plea, which was not used in this case - under the plea of guilty by reason of insanity, a defendant is held in a mental health facility.
Spriggs is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. in Floyd County Superior Court before Judge Walter J. Matthews, who accepted Spriggs’ guilty plea on Friday afternoon.
Psychologist Dr. Shelley Prisco testified during the hearing that while Spriggs was competent to stand trial, he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder stemming from seeing someone commit suicide while he was in the military and the death of another friend.
Spriggs was also diagnosed as bipolar and is currently taking a mood stabilizer and an antidepressant, Prisco said.
According to information presented by District Attorney Leigh Patterson during the hearing:
Davis was the father of Spriggs’ ex-girlfriend. The ex-girlfriend had taken out a temporary protection order against him after he had assaulted her the weekend before the murder.
He bought a gun the day of the shooting and went to Davis’ home. He shot Davis four times in the back.
Spriggs then called his ex-girlfriend using Davis’ phone, claiming he had Davis and would kill him.
He tracked his ex-girlfriend to her sister’s Clinton Drive home, where he shot her brother-in-law, Michael Scott Sulsberger, in the abdomen while his ex-girlfriend, two of her friends and his ex-girlfriend’s sister and her 7-month-old baby hid.
Sulsberger, who was shot in the abdomen, survived.
Spriggs then left the West Rome residence fleeing into nearby woods, according to reports, but was convinced to turn himself in to Floyd County police. Spriggs has been held in the Floyd County Jail since his arrest.