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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Man used golf club as weapon, authorities say
His girlfriend was taken to the hospital.
By THOMAS LAKE
Published July 24, 2007
HOLIDAY - The golf club is silver-colored, a 3-iron made by MacGregor, described in a sheriff's incident report as being in poor condition. It is generally suitable for midrange tee shots, but authorities say Phillip Spears used it to beat his girlfriend.
Here's what happened, according to the incident report:
Phillip Spears and Rachel Smyth have lived together 14 years. They have money problems and he has job problems and he has shoulder pain. On Saturday night they were drinking.
He woke up about 1 a.m. Sunday and she made him something to eat and he kept drinking, the report said. And he got angry.
About 8 a.m., while she was standing at the stove, making him spaghetti, the report said, she felt something hit the side of her head.
She turned around and saw him holding the golf club.
Why did you hit me? she asked.
"I hate everything," he said, according to the report.
She tried to escape the kitchen but he hit her again, another blow to the head with the club, the report said.
He ordered her to sit at his feet in the living room, which she did, frightened, while smoking a cigarette; he hit her with the club a third time, the report said.
Around this time she began to feel light-headed. She noticed blood coming from her head. She walked to a fire station nearby, and from there she was taken to a hospital. She was well enough to be interviewed by a deputy sheriff.
Spears, 56, of 4550 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday, was arrested and charged with aggravated domestic battery. He was held without bail Monday in the Land O'Lakes jail.
"He stated he was guilty of what he did, but she has hit him, too," said the report by Deputy Jose Valenzuela.