Man convicted for 2003 murder of Johnson High student killed in prison

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Johnny Lee Spears (Photo: ALDOC)

ELMORE, Ala. – A man serving a life sentence for the murder of a Johnson High School student in 2003 was stabbed and killed in prison Friday evening.

Johnny Lee Spears, 31, was stabbed and killed in a fight with another inmate at the Elmore Correctional Facility, Alabama Department of Corrections Public Information Manager Bob Horton said.

Spears was convicted of the murder of Tony Armstrong Jr. in 2006, according to court records.

Latarian Martel Frison (Photo: ALDOC)

Latarian Martel Frison (Photo: ALDOC)

Horton said Latarian Martel Frison, 25, was detained as a suspect in the stabbing. Frison is serving a 20-year sentence for a 2008 conviction for second-degree robbery in Mobile County.

Investigators from the Alabama Department of Corrections are investigating the death. No other injuries were reported.

The prison is secure and is on lockdown until the investigation is complete.

Governor Robert Bentley issued a statement on the stabbing, saying:

“Tonight’s stabbing at Elmore Correctional Facility is another sad reminder of the crisis inside the prison system. The violence is spiraling out of control and, left unaddressed, poses a major threat to public safety. The Prison Transformation Initiative is a good, common sense, plan to address the challenges in the prison system and make the system safer for corrections officers and inmates. We cannot continue to have incidents of violence like the stabbing tonight or the riots a few weeks ago.”