2 plead not guilty to murder of Georgia police officer

Credit: Polk County Standard Journal

Credit: Polk County Standard Journal

Two people who are charged in connection with the deadly shooting of a North Georgia police officer last September pleaded not guilty during a court appearance this week, officials said.

Seth Brandon Spangler, 31, and Samantha Michelle Roof, 22, were charged with malice murder, felony murder and other charges after the Sept. 29 shooting death of of Polk County police Detective Kristen Hearne.

She and Officer David Goodrich were investigating a car that was believed to be stolen out of Tennessee when Spangler pulled out a gun and shot them at close range on a dirt road off Ga. 100, about 70 miles northwest of Atlanta, the GBI said.

Hearne, a 29-year-old wife and mother, died soon after.

Goodrich was wearing a bulletproof vest and survived.

The suspects took off, but Roof was captured shortly after the incident, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. About three hours later, Spangler emerged from a wooded area, naked and caked in mud.

Jack Browning, district attorney for the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit, told The AJC on Wednesday that he intends to seek the death penalty against the suspects. He first said that was his intention soon after the suspects were captured.

No trial date has been set.

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