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Suspect in murder case denied bond

COVINGTON - The Oxford man who allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend and then attempted to take his own life last year was denied bond by a Newton County judge on Tuesday.

The suspect, Rick Ray Breedlove, 54, is facing charges of murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the slaying of 49-year-old Pam Spencer.

Assistant District Attorney Melanie McCrorey told the court Tuesday that Spencer was in the process of making preparations to leave Breedlove when she was gunned down.

Authorities say that Breedlove shot Spencer, his girlfriend of nearly two years, in the head with a .357 magnum handgun prior to turning the gun on himself at a home the couple shared at 25 Hickory Hill Drive on the evening of Nov. 6.

Investigators believe Breedlove and Spencer were involved in an argument that began inside the house and then spilled outside onto the deck. A 911 call was made from the home and the line was left open.

In opposing bond for the suspect, McCrorey said that she believed he posed a risk to commit future felonies and that he posed a risk to intimidate witnesses in the case. According to McCrorey, there are several witnesses who can testify to alleged verbal abuse suffered by the victim from Breedlove.

McCrorey added that she was also worried about Breedlove's mental state and said that prosecutors have no way of knowing what that is without an evaluation being performed.

Assistant Public Defender Teri Smith, who is representing Breedlove in the case, told the judge that her client had no prior criminal record and has lived in the Newton County area for the last 20 years. She also stated that his mother and sister live nearby and that he would be residing with his mother should he be released from custody.

Smith added that she would be looking into her client's mental and emotional issues.

Superior Court Chief Judge John Ott was not swayed, however, denying Breedlove bond on the grounds that he posed a flight risk and that there was still a danger that he might harm himself or others in the community.

"I'm not willing to roll the dice and gamble," Ott said.

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com.