Nearly 2 Years After Mom of Newborn Twins Vanished After Leaving Bar, Man Pleads Guilty to MurderDecember 3, 2020
On January 4, 2019, 22-year-old Savannah Spurlock was excited for her first night out after giving birth to twins the month before.
The Kentucky mother of four was never seen alive again.
Now, one of the men she was seen on surveillance video leaving a Lexington bar with her that fateful night has admitted to killing her.
On Tuesday, David Sparks, 25, pleaded guilty to murder, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse in connection with the death of Savannah Spurlock, The Associated Press, WDRB, and WHAS11 report.
In a plea agreement with prosecutors, Sparks agreed to enter a guilty plea in exchange for a 50-year sentence for murder and a five-year sentence for abuse of a corpse, which will run concurrently, court documents show, WDRB and the Lexington Herald Leader report.
He will be eligible for parole after serving 20 years of his sentence, the outlets report.
Authorities still have not said what led Sparks to kill Spurlock, of Richmond, whose two other children were 4 and 2 at the time of her death — or exactly how she died.
Shaq Smith, the father of 3 of Spurlock’s children, told WHAS11 he wished Sparks had been sentenced to more time for killing her.
"I feel like it's a relief for everyone who was close to Savannah, that there will be no trial to sit through,” he told the outlet. “But to me, justice wasn't served."
Commonwealth's Attorney Andy Sims told the Lexington Herald Leader, “I think justice was served, and most importantly for our office, and I think and hope for the family, was that for the longest time everyone thought this case was a big mystery, but it wasn’t.
“I knew from the beginning he killed her, and it was important for me that he stood in court and admitted it.”
Prosecutors were unable to pursue the death penalty in the case, WDRB News reports.
Sparks is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 17.
His attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In January 2019, Spurlock’s family and friends were worried sick when she went missing.
Police immediately zeroed in on Sparks, questioning him and the two other men on Jan. 9, 2019. On Jan. 22, 2019, they served a search warrant at Sparks’ parents’ farm in Garrard County, WHAS11 reports.
In July 2019, Spurlock’s decaying body was found in a shallow grave at Sparks’ parents’ property after his father said he noticed a bad smell in the yard, police said, the Kentucky Courier-Journal reported.
Her body was found naked and wrapped in a rug, say authorities.
Sparks was arrested in July 2019 and pleaded not guilty to her murder that September.
Sparks told police that Spurlock stayed in his room the night they met and had left before he woke up, the Courier-Journal reported.
The rug wrapped around Spurlock’s body was similar to a rug Sparks had in his room, investigators said.
He bought a replacement rug at Walmart that investigators found during a search, police said.
Police also found blood belonging to Spurlock in Sparks’ bedroom, the Courier-Journal reported.
Investigators said that Spurlock and two men went to Sparks’ home after leaving the bar, and that at some point, the two men left.
Spurlock had just had her twins in December when she decided to go out the night of Jan. 4, 2019.
“I thought she needed a little break,” her mother, Ellen Spurlock, told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “She hadn’t done anything for months since she just had the twins.”
Spurlock had gone out with a friend who left after they got into an argument, Spurlock’s mother told the outlet.
She last spoke to her daughter at 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2019.
“She FaceTimed me … and she said ‘Everything is fine. I’m just having fun with friends. I promise I will be home later this morning,’” she said.
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