Huntsville, AL – A Huntsville police officer has been accused of having murdered his pregnant girlfriend on Friday morning and then reported her death as a suicide.
Ed Walter said his daughter, 26-year-old Courtney Spraggins, spent the holidays with her family in Maryland, AL.com reported.
Ed Walter said that they held a baby shower for Spraggins while she was home because she was seven months pregnant.
Spraggins’ father said his daughter had a turbulent relationship with Huntsville Police Officer David McCoy, whom she had met on the dating app Tinder, AL.com reported.
Her family said that Spraggins had gone back and forth between Maryland and Alabama multiple times over the past two years.
Her mother, Kimberly Walter, described the relationship between Spraggins and Officer McCoy as one-sided, WAFF reported.
“After her visitation with her children, on her way back to North Carolina, she would go to Alabama to spend maybe, I am being facetious here, five seconds with this guy,” Kimberly Walter said. “He never spent a lot of time with her.”
It was the second pregnancy for the couple – the first ended in a miscarriage – and Spraggins’ family told police that Officer McCoy was not happy about it.
Spraggins’ parents claimed that the father of the baby had threatened violence during a visit to Huntsville before Thanksgiving, AL.com reported.
“From my understanding, he was not happy about this pregnancy,” her mother told WAFF. “He took her out to a cornfield. He has his gun on him. He looked at her. Apparently, it was in his truck. She said, ‘David what are you doing with that?’ He says, ‘I’m going to kill myself.’”
Spraggins’ parents said their daughter quickly left and returned home to Maryland, AL.com reported.
But then Officer McCoy begged Spraggins to come back to him and sent money for gas and hotels so that she could return to Alabama, according to her father.
Ed Walter said the last time he heard from his daughter was when she arrived in Huntsville on Jan. 7, AL.com.
“She texted me, ‘Daddy I’m here.’ I said, ‘Baby girl, I love you, be careful get some rest. She said, ‘Ok Daddy, I love you too.’” her father recalled. “That was about 10:16 a.m. and I guess 20 minutes to a half hour later she was killed.”
Kimberly Walter said that her daughter never made it out of her car in the parking lot of Officer McCoy’s apartment complex, AL.com reported.
Officer McCoy lived and worked as a courtesy officer at the Weston Ranch Apartments, WAFF reported.
Sources told WAFF that Officer McCoy called in shots fired to dispatchers at about 10 a.m. on Jan. 7 but then told responding officers there had been a suicide in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
Officer McCoy was off-duty at the time of the shooting, according to the Huntsville Police Department.
Spraggins was found inside her parked vehicle with a gunshot wound to her head, WAFF reported
Kimberly Walter told AL.com that Officer McCoy initially pretended that he didn’t know who Spraggins was.
But then Officer McCoy’s story fell apartment when investigators found pictures of the officer and other evidence of their relationship inside Spraggins’ car, including text messages, according to the dead woman’s mother.
Sources told WAFF that investigators also did not find any weapon in the car that Spraggins could have used to shoot herself.
Spraggins’ parents said they learned of their daughter’s death when her ex-husband messaged them needing a phone number to provide to the police, AL.com reported.
Sources told WAFF that Officer McCoy also had a fiancé who lived in the Huntsville area.
Spraggins’ parents said their daughter didn’t know that but had suspicions the father of her baby had been cheating on her.
The Alabama State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has taken over the investigation into Spraggins’ murder.
Officer McCoy was arrested and charged with capital murder, WAFF reported.
He has been held in the Madison County jail without bond.
Officials said that more charges were expected under Brody’s law since the officer was aware that Spraggins was pregnant with his child, WAFF reported.
Huntsville police placed Officer McCoy on administrative leave pending the outcome of his criminal case.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 28, WAFF reported.
Defense attorneys for Officer McCoy filed a motion for a gag order in the case on Jan. 11, WHNT reported.
Officer McCoy’s attorneys want the judge to bar lawyers, witnesses, and involved parties from talking publicly about the case.
Defense attorneys also asked the judge to deny public access to pre-trial proceedings and the pre-trial record, according to WHNT.
A hearing on the gag order motion has been scheduled for Jan. 18.