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Ex of Slain Florida Mom Pleads Not Guilty To Tampering, Destruction Of Evidence
Marcus Spanevelo demanded a jury trial for allegations that he destroyed and tampered with evidence in connection with the disappearance of his ex, Cassie Carli, who was found dead in a barn after a child custody meeting between the two.
The ex-boyfriend of a Florida mom whose body was found in an Alabama barn earlier this month has pleaded not guilty to tampering with evidence and other charges related to the case.
Marcus Spanevelo, 34, filed a written plea of not guilty to charges of tampering with evidence, giving false information concerning a missing persons investigation and destruction of evidence on Monday, WEAR-TV reports. He also pleaded not guilty on Monday to one count of refusing to provide authorities with a DNA sample. He was hit with the latest charge during his first court appearance last week, after the Santa Rosa Co. Sheriff's office in Florida had claimed that he refused to provide a DNA sample after his extradition from Tennessee. First Judicial Circuit Judge Clifton A. Drake ordered him held on $21,000 for the charges.
On Monday, Spanevelo also demanded a jury trial, and waived his appearance at an arraignment scheduled for next week.
Spanevelo had been in custody in Tennessee starting on April 3 after investigators alleged that he had something to do with the disappearance and death of his ex-girlfriend, Cassie Carli. Carli, 37, of Navarre Beach, Florida, vanished on March 27 shortly after a scheduled custody exchange with Spanevelo, the father of her 4-year-old daughter, as previously reported.
She was found dead on April 3 in a shallow grave inside the Alabama barn. Spanevelo has not been charged with murder.
He'd initially refused to waive extradition to Florida, stating that he wanted to make arrangements for the custody of the couple's daughter, but subsequently waived the right and was transferred to Florida on April 17.
Investigators allege that Spanevelo provided false information to police and that he threw an item — possibly Carli’s cell phone — out the window of his truck. The phone has since been recovered and investigators say that Spanevelo wrote texts from that phone while posing as Carli.
Her sister reportedly believes the false messages included ones to Carli's father trying to assure him the custody swap had gone off as planned.
Just days before Carli’s murder, Spanevelo was ordered to pay her legal fees in an ongoing custody battle he had been waging. She vanished after a scheduled custody exchange of their daughter in the parking lot of the restaurant Juana’s Pagodas in Navarre Beach, Florida. Her car and purse — but not her cell phone — were found in a parking lot near the restaurant before her body was located.
Spanevelo is due back in court on June 13.