Notorious murderer sentenced to life in prison for the beating, rape and murder of woman to be released on parole this month
Just what we need; dangerous murderers getting parole because they behave well in prison. A 54-year-old inmate in prison since he was a teenager for being an accomplice to one of the most disturbing murders in Michigan history has been freed from his life sentence for parole.
Timothy Spytma will be released July 18 and subject to a four-year parole. His accomplice Michael Saxton was released on parole in 1986.
The two men were convicted in the vicious beating, rape and murder of 42-year-old neighbor Phyllis Doctor on December 16, 1974. Both were high on drugs during the frenzied attack and ransacking of her home. Both broke into the woman’s home at Spytma’s urging, according to the Kalmazoo Gazette. They originally planned only to rob her, but things took a violent turn when she came home early.
Spytma grabbed and hit Doctor as many as five times on the back of her head with the handle of a closed pocket knife until she was knocked out, authorities said. The duo then blindfolded the unconscious woman and brought her to a bedroom where Saxton raped her before smashing her skull with a baseball bat and a bottle, according to the prosecutor. Both men wrote on her nude body and Spytma slashed her wrists with that same pocket knife before they pilfered televisions, rifles, a stereo and other valuables into her car and sped off, officials said.
Her body was discovered by her then-17-year-old son after he came home from school, according to the paper. They were tried as adults and convicted of first-degree murder and burglary, which resulted in a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole in Michigan. A 1982 court decision ruled that burglary could only be committed at night, and led to their burglary charges being overturned, according to he paper. This led to their first-degree murder convictions being reduced to second-degree murder.
Saxton’s judge handed him a 20 to 40-year prison sentence and he was paroled in 1986 after only 12 years behind bars on ‘good time credit,’ according to the site. Spytma’s judge gave him a life sentence with the possibility of parole, and it had been denied every five years since 1988 — until now. The first actual parole hearing was held May 1, and the parole board agreed to let Spytma out later this year. The judge called it ‘among the most difficult decisions I have ever been asked to make as a circuit judge,’ but cited Spytma’s contrition and good prison record as reasons to free him, according to the paper.
Spytma will be out from behind bars in less than two weeks.
Reward for good behavior in prison doesn’t protect citizens like us from when murderers decide to behave badly. Do you think a person willing to rape and kill a woman for her stereo is likely to kill again?