What Mainstream Publishers Don't Want You to Know: Upper Management
Around eight in the morning of May 18, 2008, Robert Spruiell staggered out of Room 205 in the Golden Nugget motel outside Miami and collapsed in the hallway. Suffering multiple stab wounds, he bled to death lying face-up on the floor, the blood soaking his white T-shirt and gray briefs.
Spruiell was the owner of Integrity Sales, a road crew company, which was being sued by the City of Albuquerque for negligent hiring. Last December, two agents working under Integrity allegedly beat an elderly couple to death, first raping the woman. One of them was on probation for larceny.
Spruiell was staying at the Golden Nugget with his agents. On the evening of May 17, a motel guest not associated with the crew gave cocaine to one of the agents. Spruiell apparently told the man to stay away.
The next morning, Spruiell and an agent showed up at the man's room. What happened next is in dispute, but the three men got into a fight, and a knife was produced. The man told police that Spruiell's associate beat him with a bike lock, and Spruiell tried to flip him on his stomach while shouting, "I'm going to kill you today, I'm going to fuck you today, I'm going to kill you, motherfucker!"
Prosecutors believe Spruiell and his associate forced their way into the man's room, and that the man killed Spruiell in self-defense. Under Florida law, if two people commit a felony, and if one of the partners is killed during the act, the surviving partner is held liable. So Spruiell's associate has been charged with second-degree homicide.
Spruiell's company was based in Phoenix, where he lived in a house adjacent to his ex-wife, Kay Hillery, who was also in the business, and who married Spruiell a few years after seven of her agents were killed in a van accident. At the time of this writing, Hillery is in a Phoenix jail, awaiting sentencing for a conviction stemming from her attempt to run over one of Spruiell's female friends. Hillery, drunk at the time, missed the woman and plowed into the side of a house.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.