Ottumwa man found hiding in closet charged with murder in stabbing

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OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — A man found hiding in a closet has been charged with murder following a deadly stabbing in Ottumwa on Thursday, police say.

The Wappello County prosecutor’s office said Friday that 42-year-old Douglas Raymond Spurgeon is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 55-year-old Gerald William Sapp. No attorney has been assigned to Spurgeon yet.

Police said in a news release that officers responded to a 911 call Thursday and found Sapp in an alley behind a home at 105 N. Hancock Street suffering from multiple stab wounds. Sapp had been working on a vehicle.

Police obtained a search warrant at a nearby home at 110 N. Weller Street, where Spurgeon lived, and found him in a closet there several hours later. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and arrested early Friday. He is jailed without bond.

Ottumwa Chief of Police Chad Farrington said the motive is under investigation.

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