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Release of Ind. Cop Killer Outrages Community

July 31, 2012  | 

A man once given the death penalty for fatally shooting an Indiana town marshal in the back left prison Sunday nearly 30 years after the crime.

William Miner, a town marshal with the Avilla Police Department, is still remembered as a good man in this northeastern Indiana town of 2,500 residents. A street bears his name, and a stone memorial honors his legacy.

Miner's killer, William Spranger, was convicted of killing Miner and had been given the death penalty. The Indiana Supreme Court later overturned the death sentence partly based on inadequate counsel given to Spranger.

In 1997, Spranger was given a new sentence of 60 years in prison – a sentence that could be cut in half by exhibiting good behavior and taking advantage of education opportunities, reports the Journal Gazette.

Spranger is 47.

Tags: Avilla (Ind.) PD, Death Penalty Cases, Cop Killers


Comments (21)

Displaying 1 - 21 of 21

Bob@Az. @ 7/31/2012 1:33 PM

This sucks. If the evidence was there, why is this pos still around? 30 years and he's set free? Sure hope Officer Miners' friends and family raise hell about this miscarrage of justice.

Charlie Johnson @ 7/31/2012 5:23 PM

The wait on death row is way to long. This death penalty should have been carried out right after he received his sentence in the first place.

Bruce Greinke @ 7/31/2012 5:36 PM

Another cop killer in our midst. I really feel safe!

TJ @ 7/31/2012 5:52 PM

He was given a "new" 60 yr sentence in 1997 of 60 yr with a possibility of it being cut in half for good behavior. By my math he should be in jail until 2027 at the minimum yet here it is 2012 and he is released.

This case simply shows what many sentences and parole given to cop killers shows. That while America wants cops on the front line protecting them from bad guys, when the cop pays the ultimate price, those very same people are silent and forgetful after the passage of time.
It also shows how utterly contemptible the politicians who make the lax laws are. They won't enact or support a death penalty for killers no matter how cold blooded. They also pass laws that offer parole to violent criminals who have no business on the streets.

enubus @ 7/31/2012 6:05 PM

Someone eventually will take care of the injustice! Then ditbag Spranger will be where he truly belongs, HELL!

Frank @ 7/31/2012 6:40 PM

Something is wrong with our Justice System in this country! You kill a LEO and you get out. Here I go again! I want a Federal law of death for killing a Police Officer. I guess than its time to let John Hinckley Jr out. What the hell, President Reagan put his pants on the same way the police officers of the USA does. Yes as much as I like Reagan he is no more important then the LEO's trying to protect the people of his/her community. So the average LEO is expendable according to the Justice Department.

Doug Frei @ 7/31/2012 9:26 PM

Frank, look at who the head of the justice dept is right now. Only going to get worse.

hank hill @ 7/31/2012 10:16 PM

should have hung him!

Tim @ 8/1/2012 3:48 AM

I know that lynchings are a thing of the past, bit it's time for just one more. The residents of this town have the moral responsibility of putting this animal to rest, since the justice system made tax payers pay to keep him alive for 30 years already.

Sky @ 8/1/2012 6:11 AM

The victims are no longer important except to their relations and as usual the killer will or has outlived the victims' family. This forum does a pretty good job of keeping us LEO's up on this type of injustice, but does it really make an impact? I wish it would but unfortunately I don't think so. The killer should've suffered the same fate as his victim. Pure nonsense. He killed the Marshal, he should've been killed back as soon as possible. Won't happen, too bad. It would've been better if the Marshal's head stone said "Gone, but I took him with me".

Rick @ 8/1/2012 6:32 AM

I guess this P.O.S. is an educated "cop killer" now!!! I figure the next time he shoots a Law Enforcement Officer in the back, or anyone else for that matter, he'll be able to exhibit "good behavior" in the courtroom during his trial! Inadequate counsel my ass!

I guess if your found guilty these days of killing a police officer, you must have had inadequate counsel! After all, I'm sure he was spanked as a little boy which drove him to murder, and the defense was never allowed to argue that fact...

As Jackie Gleason once said: "What the hell is the world coming to"?

Jeannett @ 8/1/2012 6:53 AM

Ref: Frank 6:40pm msg. I think the death penalty should be applied FOR EVERY PERSON that has been murdered - NOT JUST LEOs. It shouldn't matter if you're a cop, a average citizen, poor person, etc. The penalty should be the same. Because "your" lost one is a cop - is no different than "my" lost one that is an average person. As long as their was absolute proof that the person charged did the crime, they should get the death penalty! Oh, the "60 yrs" with early release after "30," they probably should have mentioned that the yrs already served under the first sentence were going to be counted towards his "early release" also.

Frank @ 8/1/2012 6:59 AM

We all complain but really something needs to be done! Frontier justice will slowly creep back into our society. People are sick and tired of being victimized by a crumbling liberal justice system. Doug Frei is correct look who our leader is or should I say does. People are frustrated with our system over drunk drivers and sexual predators roaming our streets now we add muderers to the mix. Better arm your self the next ten years will be interesting to say the least. No wonder the enrollment in IDPA and USPSA shooting is on the rise.

JM @ 8/1/2012 7:09 AM

Outrageous!! Another reason for a max of 2 years or such on death penalty cases before the sentence is cariied out! Less time for BS to cloud the facts and let a turd like this go...

lawman94 @ 8/1/2012 1:07 PM

Welcome to INDIANA guys... Ive been in LE here in INDIANA since 1994 and this does not surprise me at all. This is the only state that I know of where your politics and family name dictates whether or not your prosecuted for a crime. But lets not forget that here in INDIANA if you can pay a home detention fee you get out of jail with a slap on the hand and a smile.. Stay Safe Everyone

westcoastleo @ 8/1/2012 3:56 PM

Maybe the next copper he tries to kill will kill him first. Conviction of a crime means nothing in this country any more. These anti death penalty idiots who say, "Oh just give the life in prison sentence, he will be kept in prison for life rather than death" are wrong. Life in prison does not mean life. Have this a+%hole move to Los Angeles we will kill him for you.

Mike Mintzer @ 8/1/2012 5:28 PM

Maybe it is time to re-visit the whole concept of rehabilitation, which has driven our punishment system for the past 100 years? Would like to see people in Congress introduce legislation that punishing someone the same way that they treated their vic doesn't constitute a "cruel and unusual" punishment. Hey, I can dream can't I?

Smith @ 8/1/2012 8:10 PM

Well we can hope karma takes care of this dirtbag. 30yrs In a hotel oops I mean prison, isn't enough. Rope is cheap and every court house has a front lawn for a reason. And no it's not for looks.

Smith @ 8/1/2012 8:10 PM

Well we can hope karma takes care of this dirtbag. 30yrs In a hotel oops I mean prison, isn't enough. Rope is cheap and every court house has a front lawn for a reason. And no it's not for looks.

Amy Miner(Stansbery) @ 12/9/2012 11:01 AM

I am officer William Miner Jr daughter. I was five years old at the time of my fathers death. People say time heals all wounds; they are wrong. For me the pain gets worse and worse and now knowing he is living 30 minutes from me makes it even worse. When he was sentenced in 1983 he should have been put to death then. Our family will never heal from this tragedy.

saundra @ 6/21/2014 7:34 AM

yo don't know what really happened just because the man was a police officer Williams is the worst person in the world but there are molesters rapists and serial killers gangs who take the lives of childrenholding a grudge against Williams Spranger is ridiculous he was only 18 when this happened he is now a productive member of society don't judge it is not your job

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