Ex-pro boxer Exum Speight to stand trial in 1987 death of manager

Exum Speight

Former professional boxer Exum Speight, left, has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the slaying of his manager, Douglas Stumler.

(Los Angeles Police Department)

A former professional boxer will stand trial for murder in the 1987 slaying of his manager, a Los Angeles judge ruled Tuesday.

Exum Speight, who turns 51 next week, was arrested and charged in September in connection with the death of Douglas Stumler, who was beaten and killed inside his West L.A. apartment nearly three decades ago.

Speight, who is being held in lieu of bail set at more than $1 million, is due back in court Aug. 5.

Stumler, a 30-year-old Los Angeles County Housing Authority employee, had a side job as a boxing manager and worked with Speight, police said. The two even lived together at one point, a Los Angeles police detective testified at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, but two weeks before being killed Stumler kicked Speight out of the apartment.


Stumler spent March 29, 1987, with a friend and returned to his apartment alone, now-retired LAPD Det. Rick Jackson told The Times after Speight’s arrest. The friend called later that Sunday night, but Stumler didn’t answer the phone.

After he missed work and a gathering to watch the NCAA basketball championship, Jackson said, his friends grew concerned. On that Tuesday, a friend went to Stumler’s apartment with the building manager and found his body inside. 

Police said that there was evidence of a struggle across the apartment and that Stumler suffered multiple injuries. 

Speight was initially interviewed after the slaying, but the connections were circumstantial, Jackson told The Times. It wasn’t until 2012, he said, that LAPD cold case detectives got a hit: DNA collected from Stumler’s body matched Speight.


Speight, perhaps best known for losing a 1996 bout with current heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, recently worked as a security guard at a Venice Beach marijuana clinic.

He was dressed in a yellow jailed-issued shirt and blue pants at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, where he whispered to his public defender several times and peered at the documents before them.

If convicted, Speight faces a maximum of life in prison. 

Follow @katemather for more crime news across Southern California.

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