The family of a Choctaw County sheriff's deputy who was burned when a man doused him with gasoline on May 1st says he has regained his ability to speak.
Deputy Clifton Spears remains in critical condition in a burn unit at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. But his wife, Tonya Spears, said the family was encouraged when he asked for water and food yesterday. She and her mother-in-law, Hazel Spears, have been at Spears' bedside, taking turns reading to him from the Bible for as long as nurses will let them be there. The 30-year-old Spears was injured when he responded to a domestic disturbance in Lisman.
Sheriff's officials say Sherry Rodgers had threatened to set fire to the house that he shared with his 98-year-old grandmother. Spears fired a Taser-style stun gun at Rodgers after he refused to drop a canister of gasoline, but the darts didn't reach him. Rodgers is accused of then dousing Spears with gasoline and setting him on fire. Rodgers himself caught on fire in the process and is listed in serious condition at U-A-B Medical Center in Birmingham.