The Story of India Spellman

The Story of India Spellman

Erica Cook , 7th Grade Leland Middle School


On Monday, April 18, 2010, George Bud Daves was killed in an attempted robbery, two days later another innocent person was killed. Seventeen-year-old India Spellman was wrongfully accused of second-degree murder, despite coercion, police brutality, illegitimate claims, and forgotten alibis. She was also a minor who was questioned by authorities without parental approval. Her parents were not allowed to be in the room during the interrogation. She was tried as an adult and sentenced to 30 YEARS of prison. 


At 5 pm India ‘’allegedly” confessed to the murder while official police documents say that the questioning did not begin until 6:10.


Ms. Spellman claims that during the questioning, she was struck in the face by Detective Pitts and told if she signed a document, she could go home. 

Spellman agreed and then, struggling to read the paper, asked Detective Pitts to read it for her. Pitts refused and sent Spellman to book.


 This is not the first time that Detective Pitts has treated suspects in this manner. In 2010 Detective Pitts lied about a forced confession and in 2018 the victim was found innocent in less than an hour. According to the Philadelphia District attorney’s office, Detective Pitts was charged with perjury. 


In 2002, Pitts made false statements to cover up the fact he assaulted his wife. 

Detective Pitts has a reputation for violent interrogation strategies and lying about it. One such occasion led to the arrest of an innocent citizen Obina Oniyha, who spent 11 years in jail. In less than an hour, she was found innocent of appeal. 


In addition, Ms. India looks nothing like the description of the woman who actually committed the crime. Attorneys had proof that Ms. India was at home on her computer when the robbery took place. The proof is that, at 3:33 pm, Ms. Spellman started a 25-minute call that overlapped with the murder of George Bud Daves that occurred at 3:52.


Her “alleged accomplice” Von Combs was also not fit to be the actual criminal because he did not fit the description and also had the same Detective as Ms. Spellman. A detective was faced with perjury and forced confessions. Mr. James Pitts is the same one who has perjury charges and has been accused of assaulting people.


One of the eyewitnesses Ms. Mathis claimed that the woman was a “chunky light-skinned Muslim.” Ms. Spellman is skinny dark-skinned and not a Muslim. 

In conclusion, Ms. Spellman was wrongfully imprisoned, due to a forced confession, police brutality, not having a legal guardian in the room with her, and not looking like the actual person the eyewitnesses saw. Additionally, the detective for her case has a track record of lying. This is why Ms. Spellman is innocent.