Spain’s rape conviction, sentence appeal denied

Published 5:29 pm Friday, February 19, 2021

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COLUMBIANA — The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals denied the post-conviction petition appeal seeking to overturn the forcible rape conviction and resulting life imprisonment sentence of Matthew Z. Spain, 32, of Alabaster, District Attorney Jill Lee announced on Friday, Feb. 19.

“We are happy to see the final page of this case close,” Assistant District Attorney Shaun Styers said. “Hopefully, this will, in some small way, help the survivor of this horrible crime. Our office could not have done our job without her standing up to speak truth and bravely face her abuser to share the worst event of her life in front of complete strangers. The Alabaster Police Department likewise should be heralded for their investigation and for bringing in community partners like the CHIPS Clinic. This work was instrumental in securing justice and we thank them for their hard work.”

The Alabaster Police Department investigated the case. Detective Tommy Stewart was the lead investigator. Following a three-day trial, a jury found Spain guilty of rape first-degree on April 19, 2017. Rape first-degree is a Class A felony carrying range of punishment from 10-99 years or life imprisonment.

Presiding Circuit Judge William H. Bostick III sentenced Spain to life imprisonment for his rape first-degree conviction on June 19, 2017. Assistant District Attorneys Styers and Daniel McBrayer prosecuted the case. Additionally, on behalf of the State of Alabama and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, Styers successfully responded to Spain’s post-conviction petition.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall successfully defended the conviction on appeal. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals released an opinion rejecting Spain’s appeal on Oct. 16, 2020. The court denied Spain’s request for rehearing on Jan. 29, 2021.