Jeremy Spielbauer’s ex-wife, Robin Spielbauer, was found murdered by the side of the road near Amarillo, Texas, on April 8, 2014, and authorities soon learned of the complicated relationship between Robin Spielbauer and Jeremy Spielbauer’s new wife, Katie Phipps, who was soon charged with the murder of her romantic rival.
According to court documents, Robin Spielbauer divorced her husband after he began an affair with Phipps, who he then married, but Phipps began suspecting that Jeremy Spielbauer was continuing his romantic involvement with his ex-wife after their marriage. After Robin Spielbauer was found dead in April 2014, authorities identified the murder weapon as Phipps’ gun and charged her with murder.
However, more than a year after she was jailed on murder charges, cellphone records showed that not Phipps but Jeremy Spielbauer was at the scene of the crime on the night of Robin’s murder. Phipps was released from the county jail after 466 days and Spielbauer was arrested and charged with capital murder, court documents show.
Spielbauer was found guilty of murder in 2018 and sentenced to life in prison along with a fine of $10,000, however his attorneys appealed the verdict and it was reversed by the Seventh Court of Appeals. Where is Jeremy Spielbauer today?
Spielbauer Was Found Guilty of Murder & Sentenced to Life in Prison But His Conviction Was Later Reversed on Appeal
Spielbauer was convicted of his ex-wife’s murder in 2018 and sentenced to life in prison, but the conviction was later reversed by the Seventh Court of Appeals in January 2020, KFDA reported. The court determined that the judge should have allowed the defense attorney to challenge some of the jury members.
In its ruling, the court of appeals wrote, “We hold that under the facts of this case, [Spielbauer] was harmed by the trial court’s error. Issue one is sustained… the trial court’s judgment is reversed and the cause is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.” The Randall County District Attorney’s Office issued a statement disagreeing with the decision and stating:
There is one thing I want to emphasize this decision is not about whether there was sufficient evidence to convict Mr. Spielbauer or whether this court concluded that Mr. Spielbauer was innocent of the murder charge. This decision is about the technical, legal interpretation of two responses made by two prospective jurors during the jury selection portion of this trial.
While the appeals processes are ongoing to see whether Spielbauer will face a new trial or his conviction will be upheld, Spielbauer, 38, is serving his life sentence at the James V. Allred Unit in Wichita Falls, Texas, public records show. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, he will be eligible for parole on April 20, 2046. The facility is a maximum-security prison and has a capacity for around 3,600 inmates.
Spielbauer’s Overturned Verdict Was Itself Later Challenged By the Texas Court of Appeals So the Final Decision Is Still Pending
The State challenged the Seventh Court of Appeals’ decision to reverse the conviction and in May 2021, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with the prosecution that there were no errors in jury selection. Because the initial appeal was based on two issues, however, the case is now back with the Seventh Court of Appeals who will review Spielbauer’s second issue, his claim that he received bad legal advice, KFDA reported.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals wrote in its decision that they “reverse the judgment of the court of appeals and remand the case for consideration of Appellant’s remaining point of error.” It stated that the trial court should not dismiss jurors based solely on questionnaire answers and was correct in questioning them further, and “The trial court did not abuse its discretion.”
The timeline for the Seventh Court of Appeals to review Spielbauer’s second issue for appeal has not been revealed at this time.