Family of murder victim devastated by release of accused killer just before trial


UPDATE: Doug Krumlauf was released from jail Thursday morning.

Around noon, the judge had revoked his bond based on violating terms of his bond, specifically that he not have access to weapons.

There are weapons inside the home of his son, where he was staying.

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Krumlauf's attorney notified him that his bond was revoked and turned himself back in.


An accused killer is being released from jail, after a last-minute discovery just as he was about to go on trial.

Sharla Spangler's murder in 1985 sat unsolved for 32 years. Last year, Columbus Police Cold Case Detectives charged Doug Krumlauf in the killing.

But Tuesday, a judge released him after a surprising courtroom announcement.

Prosecutors say they got a call from BCI, the state crime lab, just before jury selection.

They told the judge BCI had discovered that some DNA evidence recovered from Sharla's body hadn't been fully tested.

"We've had this trial date for over six months, but in order to have a fair trial, we have no choice but to let BCI test the DNA," said Franklin County Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt.

"We're not grousing and pointing the fingers at anybody but BCI. They've had this evidence for close to two years," said defense attorney Sam Shamansky. "I would submit, Your Honor, to keep Mr. Krumlauf locked up pending trial is singularly unfair."

The judge agreed, releasing Krumlauf on house arrest, after more than 18 months in jail.

"It just broke my heart all over again," said Sharla's sister, Carla Spangler. "It's just not fair that they let him go home."

Though she remains confident Krumlauf will be convicted, her long wait just got longer.

"I can't wait," she cried. "I've been waiting a long time."

The Ohio Attorney General's Office, which runs BCI, tells 10TV there was no mistake on BCI's part.

A spokesperson says "BCI conducted all the testing requested of them by Columbus Police, as well as any additional testing" required by their protocol.

They said, "In reviewing the file for trial, our staff learned of additional information not provided by Columbus Police at the time of testing that led our staff to recommend additional testing be conducted."

Columbus Police answered that with a one-sentence response: "Our officers did their jobs."

Krumlauf was arrested after domestic violence charges were filed in 2015 in Knox County. His fingerprints were entered into a database, and Columbus Police say they matched prints from the scene of Sharla's murder.

Detectives developed the case, and linApril of 2017, charged Krumlauf with murder.