Spurgeon to Serve 50-Year Sentence


An Ottumwa man who was convicted of second-degree murder received his sentence on Monday.

Judge Crystal Cronk sentenced 44-year-old Douglas Spurgeon to 50 years in prison for the murder of 55-year-old Gerald Sapp.

A jury found Spurgeon guilty in January after hearing testimony that he stabbed Sapp 16 times in an alleyway behind a residence on North Hancock Street in November 2021.

During the trial, Spurgeon’s lawyers argued their client killed Sapp in self-defense but only administered a couple of the stab wounds and a different assailant finished the deadly assault.

Spurgeon is required to serve at least 35 years of his sentence before he is eligible to be released. Spurgeon was also fined $2,395 and must pay Sapp’s family $150,000.

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