Ottumwa Man Convicted in 2021 Stabbing Death


A Wapello County jury found an Ottumwa man guilty of murder on Tuesday.

Douglas Spurgeon, 43, was found guilty of second-degree murder, assault while participating in a public offense, and going armed with intent.

Spurgeon was originally charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 55-year-old Gerald Sapp of Ottumwa. Sapp’s body was discovered in an alley behind a residence on North Hancock Street on November, 11th 2021. Investigators say Sapp was stabbed 16 times.

Witnesses were able to identify Spurgeon and his possible location after the assault. Officers established a perimeter around Spurgeon’s home–where he lived with his mother–on North Weller and after obtaining a warrant, discovered Spurgeon hiding inside a closet in the residence.

A conviction of second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 50 years with the possibility of parole in 35 years. The maximum prison sentence for assault while participating in a public offense is 10 years and the maximum sentence for going armed with intent is 5 years.

Spurgeon is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6th.

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