Arcanum man dies in Darke County Jail


GREENVILLE — The Darke County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of an inmate at the Darke County Jail late Wednesday night.

Roy R. Spurling III, 26, of Arcanum, was found hanging in his cell during jail checks at 11:04 p.m. Wednesday. Resuscitation attempts by the correctional staff and Greenville Rescue were unsuccessful.

Spurling had been incarcerated at the jail since Nov. 1 as the result of an Oct. 26 incident in which he reportedly broke into an Arcanum home and violently attacked a former girlfriend as well as assaulting two others present. He was indicted by a grand jury on one count of aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, one count of second-degree felony assault, two first-degree misdemeanor counts of assault and one fifth-degree misdemeanor count of attempted disrupting public service.

Spurling had a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2012, including multiple prior convictions on assault and a domestic violence conviction.

Defense attorney Dave Rohrer, who represented Spurling, said he had last seen his client two or three weeks ago and said he was concerned with Spurling’s mental well-being.

“I’m not sure his mental health issues were being properly addressed,” he said.

Three days prior to his death, Spurling had sent a letter to the court, citing his drug, alcohol and mental health issues. According to Rohrer, Spurling reportedly asked the court to expedite his sentencing and was seeking to lessen a potential four-year prison term. Rohrer earlier had filed a motion for a competency evaluation for Spurling on Jan. 9.

Darke County Prosecuting Attorney R. Kelly Ormsby said his office will await the Sheriff’s Office report on the incident before making any determination on how to proceed.

Man held on assault charges found hung in cell

By Erik Martin

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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