Macon County man convicted in 1997 murder of grandparents dies in prison

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BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man who was convicted of capital murder in the 1997 slayings of his grandparents has died in prison.

Al.com reports 44-year-old William “David” Spratling died Tuesday, about two decades after he was sentenced to serve life without parole. The newspaper says Spratling was found unresponsive late that night and later pronounced dead at an infirmary. Foul play isn’t suspected.

In 1997, the city’s police chief saw Spratling and Johnny Brown driving Spratlings’ grandparents’ truck, which the chief said he knew wasn’t allowed. The chief said he went to check on the Spratlings and found the bodies of Bill and Eloise Spratling wrapped in tarp and hidden inside their barn. Each had been shot in the head.

Spratling and Brown each pleaded guilty to capital murder in 1999.

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