Originally created 11/29/97

Trial could be early as Monday



Three teen-agers, accused of conspiring to kill a Fort Gordon soldier, could go to trial as early as Monday.

Matthew Clark Piazzi, 17, Larry Wayne Kelly, 18, and Gerald Lewis Horne, 18, face murder charges for conspiring to kill 35-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Leroy Spann at his Old Waynesboro Road home May 11.

Augusta Circuit District Attorney Danny Craig said the trial is scheduled for Monday but there are several issues that still must be resolved that could delay the trial.

Investigators contend Sgt. Spann's wife, Gina Spann, 31, hired the teens to have her husband killed so she could cash in on a $300,000 insurance policy. Ms. Spann pleaded guilty to murder charges last week and was sentenced to life in prison. Had she gone to trial, she may have faced the death penalty if convicted.

This week another teen, Christopher Lee Bargeron, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with the slaying. He was sentenced to five years in prison and five years probation, said Augusta Circuit District Attorney Danny Craig. Although the teen was acting as his own attorney, Mr. Craig said a court-appointed attorney was assisting him.

Police believe Mr. Kelly, who was living with the Spanns, contacted Mr. Bargeron about the plan and he in turn referred him to Mr. Horne and Mr. Piazzi, the suspected trigger man.

Mr. Bargeron is expected to testify against the three left to be tried.