Sheriff: More charges likely in stabbings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Sumter County Sheriff Johnny Hatter said Friday that his investigation into a stabbing incident between two Demopolis men is not yet complete.

Jim M. Reid and Roy Copeland, both of Demopolis, apparently drew knives on each other last weekend after a confrontation at the funeral of Dan Spidle. After the fight, both Reid and Copeland were admitted to Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital in Demopolis, and both also were treated at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa.

Reid, 49, turned himself in last week after a warrant for felony assault charges was signed against him. He was released on $20,000 bond.

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Hatter could not indicate what the charges would be or who they would be filed against.

While Hatter could expound on the fight or why it happened, reports from the funeral indicated that Reid and Copeland exchanged words at some point after the funeral. They both left Old Belmont Cemetery on Sumter County Road 23 and ran across each other not far from the church.

District Attorney Greg Griggers said details of who actually instigated the fight are not clear yet. However, it was clear that Copeland had to be treated for a large cut across the abdomen. He also had a cut on his shoulder.

According to Griggers, Reid also was cut on his arm.

After the fight, Copeland apparently was driven to a local hospital and eventually was taken to Tuscaloosa. Reid, meanwhile, drove himself to the Demopolis Police Department to turn himself in. Police, however, would not arrest him in Demopolis because the alleged assault occurred in another police jurisdiction.

Though Hatter is sure there will be more charges filed in the case, a spokeswoman at the Sumter County Circuit Clerk’s office said no court date has been set for Reid.

Editor’s Note: In the July 30 edition of The Times, the picture of Old Belmont Church was incorrect. That photo was not of Old Belmont Church, which is actually about 7 miles past the one shown in The Times. We regret the error and are happy to set the record straight.