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Warrant: Sex offender killed landlady after she found porn on computer

Posted in Related Deaths
1-24-2012 North Carolina:

WINSTON-SALEM — A convicted sex offender accused of strangling his landlady five years ago and setting her car on fire in Clemmons with her body inside killed her after she found pornography on his computer, according to a search warrant for his computer filed last summer (2011).

Scott Robert Speakman is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Loyola Strader, 63, in 2006 and faces the death penalty if convicted.

According to the warrant, Speakman told authorities that he killed Strader after they started arguing over pornography that Strader saw on Speakman's laptop computer in the room he rented from her on Konnoak View Drive in Forsyth County.

According to court documents, Speakman has said that Strader threatened him with a stun gun, and he killed her during a struggle. Speakman had recently been released from prison in Maryland after being convicted in 1995 of raping and sodomizing an 18-month-old girl when he was 15. He was tried as an adult.

Vince Rabil and Clark Fischer, attorneys representing Speakman, included the search warrant in their motion to suppress evidence found on the computer. The attorneys also argued that the court should suppress statements Speakman is alleged to have made to authorities that the argument between him and Strader was over pornography. The attorneys say there's nothing in the notes and summaries from Speakman's interviews to support that.

Detective J.W. Adkins of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office applied for the search warrant on July 26. Investigators had gotten a search warrant in 2006 to get Speakman's computer and have it examined by the State Bureau of Investigation.

But Adkins said in the search warrant application that the images retrieved from the computer were never forwarded to him or the Forsyth County District Attorney's Office. He said in the search warrant that Assistant District Attorney David Hall contacted officials at the State Bureau of Investigation, who told him they could not find the images. Hall could not be reached Monday for comment. Rabil declined to comment Monday.

Adkins filed the new search warrant to have the computer examined again for images of child pornography and any other material that Speakman mentioned in his statements.

According to previous motions, Speakman told investigators in one of his statements that Strader saw something on the laptop, and that was the "triggering event" that led to her death.

At a March hearing last year on pre-trial motions, Adkins testified that another investigator who participated in interviewing Speakman had turned over all interview notes and reports to Speakman's attorneys, last week's motion said.

"Either the statements set out and sworn to in the application for a fourth search by Detective J.W. Adkins are false or the state has failed to provide the defendant with discovery of all the statements of the defendant which were in the possession of the state as of March 17, 2011, and on November 19, 2006," the motion said.

Adkins could not be reached Monday.

Prosecutors have said that Speakman strangled Strader with a cord, put her body in her car and drove it to Clemmons, where he set it on fire. According to prosecutors, surveillance cameras from a nearby business showed Speakman setting the car on fire.

In December, Speakman's attorneys filed a motion arguing that he should not face the death penalty because he is severely mentally disabled. That motion is still pending.

Speakman's trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 27 and is expected to last three weeks to two months. It is not clear when pre-trial motions, including this latest one, will be heard. ..Source.. by Winston-Salem Journal

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