Spray pleads not guilty, trial dates set

Sigourney, Iowa- The suspect in the Packwood and Hedrick Bank robberies has pleaded not guilty to both robberies and a trial date has been set. Ethan Spray filed a written plea of not-guilty through his attorney, Michael Fisher, on October 24 in relation to the Hedrick Bank Robbery. A similar not-guilty plea was filed on November 2ndin Jefferson County District Court in relation to the June Packwood Bank Robbery.


Spray, 28, of Ottumwa, was arrested on October 1 and charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, one for the August 6 Hedrick Savings Bank Robbery, and one for the June 1stPilot Grove Savings Bank robbery in Packwood. Both robberies were committed at gun point. A criminal complaint states that search warrants conducted after the August 6 robbery yielded evidence, namely DNA evidence, linking Spray to the robbery.


According to a criminal complaint filed by Keokuk County Deputy Sheriff Adam Pence, at 2:45 pm on August 6, a 911 call was received in reference to an armed robbery in progress at South Ottumwa Savings Bank in Hedrick.


The criminal complaint filed states that during the course of the execution of a search warrant in Ottumwa at the residence of Ethan Spry, law enforcement discovered evidence connecting Spray to the August 6th robbery. A DNA sample of spray was collected and sent to the DCI lab for analysis. Spray’s DNA was a match to DNA found on a burning pile of clothes discovered south of Hedrick, which matched what the robbery suspect was last seen wearing.


Authorities also discovered Spray to be the owner of a red Buick-type vehicle, which matched the description of the vehicle the suspect in the Hedrick and Packwood robberies was seen leaving in. Additionally, the same vehicle was recorded on surveillance video as being the suspect vehicle in an ATM theft that occurred in Brighton on the night of May 29/30.


 Further DNA evidence linked Spray to the June 1strobbery in Packwood. Additionally, court documents say that social media postings before and after June 1stappeared to link Spray to the Packwood robbery.


For more on this story and others, catch the November 21 edition of the News-Review.