Man’s rape, unlawful imprisonment charges sent to grand jury

Published 9:34 am Thursday, April 30, 2015

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County Grand jury will decide if it will uphold a pair of felonies and one misdemeanor charge against an Alabaster man who police said allegedly raped and strangled a female victim in November 2014.



Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves bound felony first-degree rape and domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation charges and a misdemeanor second-degree unlawful imprisonment charge against Matthew Zachary Spain over to the grand jury on April 2.

The grand jury will review the evidence in the case and determine if it will indict Spain on any of the charges.

The Alabaster Police Department arrested Spain, who lists an address on Windsor Court in Alabaster, on Nov. 8 and charged him with the crimes.

According to his arrest warrants, Spain’s charges stemmed from a Nov. 7 incident in which he allegedly “choked and strangled” a female victim. He also allegedly did “knowingly restrict and restrain” the victim against her will and allegedly did “engage in sexual intercourse with (the victim) by forcible compulsion,” according to his warrants.

In a court order filed with Spain’s arrest warrants, District Court Judge James Kramer identified the suspect as a potential flight risk, and set a higher-than-normal $250,000 bond for the charges. “The defendant has no substantial ties to the community, and may become a flight risk,” read Kramer’s order. “And considering the nature of the charges and possible contact with the victim, it is hereby ordered that the defendant’s bond be set as follows.”

Spain posted the bond and was released from the Shelby County Jail on Nov. 12, 2014.

First-degree rape is a Class A felony, and is punishable by up to life in prison upon conviction. If convicted of the domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation charge, a Class B felony, Spain could face up to 20 years in prison.