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Cassie Carli's Ex Hit With Federal Kidnapping Charges In Her Death
Marcus Spanevelo, who already faced abuse of a corpse charges in Alabama, has now been indicted on federal charges of kidnapping resulting in death in the murder of his ex, Cassie Carli.
The ex-boyfriend of a Florida mom whose body was found buried in an Alabama barn has been indicted on federal charges of kidnapping resulting in death.
Marcus Spanevelo, 35, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one charge of kidnapping resulting in death in the case of his ex-girlfriend, Cassie Catherine Carli, 37, federal prosecutors said in a press release on Wednesday.
Carli disappeared on March 27, 2022 after meeting Spanevelo in the parking lot of the Juana’s Pagoda restaurant near her home in Navarre Beach, Florida for a pre-planned custody exchange of their 4-year-old daughter. Her body was found on April 2, buried in a shallow grave inside an abandoned barn in Springville, Alabama — 275 miles north of where she disappeared — that police said was in Spanevelo's name.
In the indictment, obtained by Oxygen.com, prosecutors charge that Spanevelo "did knowingly, unlawfully and willfully seize, confine, inveigle, decoy, kidnap, abduct, carry away and otherwise hold C.C.C. for his own benefit and purpose." It further alleges that he brought her over state lines from Florida to Alabama and used "a means, facility, and instrumentality of interstate and foreign commerce, including, but not limited to, a cellphone and a GMC motor vehicle, which offense resulted in the death of C.C.C."
The indictment does not provide any further details in the case.
Spanevelo is currently incarcerated without bond on abuse of corpse charges in St. Clair County, Alabama, according to jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com. He is due in court for a bond hearing on those charges next week, but is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Birmingham — about 45 miles away — on Feb. 9, according to AL.com.
If convicted, Spanevelo can be sentenced to death or life in prison.
"Personally, I prefer he spend the rest of his life in prison because that’s going to be a miserable existence for him," Santa Rosa (Florida) County Sheriff Bob Johnson said at a Thursday press conference, according to AL.com. "The death penalty would be too quick."
Spanevelo was originally arrested in Tennessee on a warrant out of Santa Rosa County charging him with tampering with evidence, giving false information concerning a missing persons investigation and destruction of evidence. Police said that he'd taken Carli's phone and sent messages posing as her before disposing of it. (The phone was eventually recovered.)
He was eventually extradited from Tennessee to Florida, where he did not receive bond.
Though officials were initially confident that they would charge Spanevelo with murder in Carli's death, an autopsy performed in Alabama and released in October classified her cause and manner of death as "undetermined."
Florida dropped the evidence charges against him in October, after which Alabama charged him with abusing a corpse.
"The disappearance and death of Cassie Carli remain under investigation by law enforcement agencies in both Florida and Alabama,” Assistant State Attorney for the state of Florida Mark Alderman wrote at the time in court records obtained by Oxygen.com explaining the decision. “In an effort to prosecute the strongest case, and after communicating with law enforcement officers in both states, the Office of the State Attorney believes that in the interest of justice the actions of the Marcus Spanevelo are most appropriately prosecuted in Alabama.”
He was extradited from Florida to Alabama on Oct. 20, according to jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com. He was indicted on Dec. 6 on abuse of corpse charges — a Class C felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison if convicted.
At Thursday's press conference, Santa Rosa Sheriff Johnson said that law enforcement asked the FBI to assist in the case on Dec. 20.
"The resources they can bring to bear on a case are incredible," the sheriff said, according to AL.com. "They get this case in December and here we are in January."
"I would have preferred to have it occur in Santa Rosa County and have him go through our court system, but because of several things I can’t really discuss, that’s not going to happen," he added. "The main point is that Mr. Spanevelo is never going to see the light of day again. That’s the most important thing — not only for Cassie but for the Carli family as well."
Carli and Spanevelo's daughter is reportedly in the care of Carli's father in Florida, NBC Tampa affiliate WESH reported.