The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

February 14, 2014

Palestine police renew probe of 2009 murder case


The Palestine Police Department is asking for the public's help resolve the 2009 murder of a Palestine man.

Virgie C. Spurlock, 61, was discovered deceased on the floor of his bedroom inside his local residence in the 700 block of Head St. on Dec. 6, 2009 by a family acquaintance.

According to previous newspaper reports about the murder, an autopsy showed Spurlock, who served in the U.S. military and attended Palestine schools, died as a result of “blunt force trauma.”

During a press conference on Thursday afternoon at the police station, Police Chief Robert Herbert, Police Lt. James Muniz and Crime Investigation Division Sgt. Justin Willoughby discussed how a new team has been pulled together to work new leads in the case.

“We still have a murder suspect still out there. We need to do our best to resolve this and get the murder suspect off the streets,” Herbert said during the press conference. “I know the family has talked to me on several different occasions and other people have talked to me about this when I came on board back in 2011 about this case. After reviewing this case, the case is still very workable.

“We have constructed a team – eager young investigators that I believe, if we stay on course, we may be able to possibly solve this murder. I'm willing to invest time to make this happen,” Herbert continued. “We need the community's help. If you know anything, we have the new Tip411 in place. It's anonymous. You can contact us through that. And hopefully we can catch this murder suspect.”

At the time of the murder, Willoughby was new to the department and two other detectives were not working for the Palestine PD. Muniz was working patrol. Willoughby is now running the CID, under the supervision of Muniz.

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