THE BRONX — The homeless man who shot and killed a shelter director after trying to rape her and chasing her down the street in broad daylight, had stalked the victim for days and bought a gun specifically for the attack, police sources said.
West Spruill, 39, was arraigned for murder, manslaughter and weapons possession charges in Bronx Criminal Court on Wednesday afternoon, following the horrific attack on Ana Charle, 36, on Monday.
Spruill, who asked to act as his own lawyer during the hearing, was accused of attacking Charle, the Project Renewal shelter director at 4380 Bronx Blvd., as she was getting into her car near East 237th Street and Bullard Avenue just before 6 p.m., according to the NYPD.
"I want to represent myself. I don't want this guy as my attorney," he said, standing before the judge in a white jumpsuit. "That's not my attorney."
"I object!" he told the judge.
Spruill, 39, carefully planned his attack against Charle, who he met while he was a resident at the shelter where she worked, police sources said. The two had little contact, police sources said.
Spruill caught Charle off guard as she walked to her car, where he forced her at gunpoint into her car, made her strip, and then tried to rape her at gunpoint, police sources said. She resisted, fled naked into the street, with him naked and in pursuit, sources said.
She was shot at close range, three times, in the temple, cheek and chest, police source said.
Investigators found evidence that the attack was premeditated due to some undisclosed items found in the two bags he was carrying and the fact that fact that he had recently purchased a .40 caliber gun, police sources said.
The gun matched the casings found at the crime scene, prosecutors said during his arraignment Wednesday.
"He committed the crime in broad daylight, making no attempt to conceal his identity," lead prosecutor Georgia Barker said during the hearing.
His lawyer Cesar Gonzalez maintained that he would represent Spruill until the court determined that he could represent himself.
"It's my obligation to represent him, and I intend to do so to the best of my ability," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez declined to comment further on the charges against his client.
Spruill was held without bail and is due back in court on May 1.