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Man Pleads Not Guilty in Tampering Case After Ex-Girlfriend Turned Up Dead in Shallow Grave

Booking photo of Marcus Spanevelo, and image of Cassie Carli.

Marcus Spanevelo, and Cassie Carli.

The man charged in connection to his ex-girlfriend’s death pleaded not guilty to charges through an attorney and waved his upcoming arraignment. Lawyer Nicholas Manning Thomas submitted the filing Friday on behalf of Marcus Spanevelo, 34, online records show.

An arraignment had been scheduled for May 5. Court is next scheduled to take place Aug. 4, in connection to Spanevelo allegedly sandbagging and undermining law enforcement efforts to find Cassie Carli, 37, the mother of their 4-year-old daughter.

The former couple was set up to meet March 27 for a custody exchange by Juana’s Pagodas restaurant in Santa Rosa County, Florida, but Carli’s family said her number sent strange texts, in which the author–ostensibly her–claimed to have car trouble and that Spanevelo was paying her to “do some stuff around his house.” Relatives said her phone was missing from her purse, which was found in her abandoned car at the restaurant.

Investigators found her dead just days later in Alabama, the state where Marcus Spanevelo lived and worked. Carli’s body was in a barn on property in the city of Springville, which authorities said was linked to Spanevelo. Spanevelo lived in the Birmingham area.

“All he said was ‘Lawyer,’” Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson has said of the defendant, describing the arrest in Tennessee. Spanevelo waived extradition back to Florida.

Charges in Florida are tampering with evidence, false information to law enforcement, and the newly filed misdemeanor count of refusing to supply a DNA sample. Authorities have said more charges are possible depending on the results of Carli’s autopsy.

Spanevelo’s aunt maintained his innocence in a WEAR report from Thursday. Neiva Spanevelo called the investigation suspicious and asserted someone set up her nephew.

“Just think about it,” she said.

She described him as a kind man who worked hard and took care of his daughter.

Johnson rejected the innocence claim.

“He’s going to get his day in court,” he said, according to WEAR. “But I can tell you this: The evidence that we have is overwhelming.”

[Booking photo of Marcus Spanevelo and image of Carli via Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office]

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