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Kentucky man pleads ‘not guilty’ to murdering young mother Savannah Spurlock


David Sparks (Madison County Detention Center)

A Kentucky man charged with murder after the naked body of a young mother was discovered buried in a shallow grave is maintaining his innocence in her disappearance and death.

David Sparks on Friday arrived at Garrard County Circuit Court for his arraignment and entered a “not guilty” plea in the death of 22-year-old Savannah Spurlock, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.


The suspect was initially arrested in July and charged with abuse of a corpse and evidence tampering when the young mother’s remains were discovered wrapped in garbage bags on his parent’s property in Garrard County. A jury in August indicted him on the charges in addition to one count of murder.

“Just because David’s been indicted does not mean that he’s guilty of murder, and it does not mean that the commonwealth is going to be able to protect him,” his attorney, Erica Roland, said following the routine court appearance.

“We are deeply sorry for Ms. Spurlock’s family’s loss and we hope that they’re able to find the answers they’re looking for.”

Spurlock, a mother of four, was last seen alive in January on surveillance footage leaving a bar in Lexington. Investigators said she’d been with three men at the time, one of who was later identified as Sparks.

He previously told authorities they all departed The Other Bar together for his home in Lancaster in the early hours of the morning on Jan. 4, police said.

Sparks added that after the other two men went home he allowed Spurlock to sleep in his bed while he spent the night on the couch. She even woke him to let him know she was leaving the following the morning, he said.

Her disappearance triggered a months-long search, which came to a tragic end when Sparks’ father phoned authorities about a smell coming from his property. When authorities arrived on the scene on July 9, they spotted a black garbage bag peaking up from under the ground.

They uncovered Spurlock’s shallow grave just before midnight the same day. She’d been wrapped in an accent rug that authorities believe was previously in the suspect’s bedroom.

Spurlock’s cause of death has not been identified.

Sparks is being held in the Lincoln County Jail and is due back in court on Nov. 1.