Spears said consistently in the years after he murdered Sherri Holland that he wanted the death sentence. In an interview with a psychiatrist on Tuesday, Spears explained that his decision was rational, and he didn't have a death wish.
Spears told psychiatrist Matthew Norman, who was hired by the state: “Would you want to live in a 6-by-9 cell? That’s not living. … Everything I do, I’ve got to get permission to do.
“I don’t want to live like I’m living. It’s like a cancer eating me up every day,” Spears said, according to the psychiatrist’s report.
Other than an automatic appeal that was filed after his conviction, Spears steadfastly refused to let lawyers challenge his sentence. Even at trial, he would not authorize his lawyers to present evidence that might have persuaded the Lumpkin County jury to vote for a life sentence.
Spears also never denied that he murdered Holland, a 34-year-old single mother, after their three-year relationship ended.
He hid in a bedroom closet at her Dahlonega home for about four hours until she was asleep. And during the early morning hours of Aug. 25, 2001, he choked her unconscious, wrapped duct tape around her face, placed a plastic bag over her head and secured it with more tape.
After hiding in the woods for 10 days, a Lumpkin County deputy spotted him walking to town to surrender.
Spears confessed immediately.