"The Springford Murders: 10 Years Later" Part 1: Who Were the Springfords?

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By Catalina Trivino

Tonight at 10 p.m.  -- we have an Alabama News Network Extra on CBS 8 and ABC Montgomery. We're taking you back 10 years ago to tell you what you didn't hear about one of the most gruesome murder cases in Montgomery's history: The murders of Charlotte and Brent Springford who were killed with an ax-handle by their son. The man who found the bodies is speaking to the media for the first time.

But first, who were the Springfords?

The murders of Brent and Charlotte Springford were considered not only one of the most gruesome in Montgomery history, it even made national headlines. But it was also who they were that really surprised people. They owned one of the most successful companies in Luverne, the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company.

10 years later, people still can't believe how this family's life ended.

This was Brent and Charlotte Springford. They were your regular business owners, but for those in Luverne, they were much bigger: Brent was the President of Pepsi Cola Bottling Company there. At the time, it was Crenshaw County's driving force for revenue. Charlotte was its heir.

A family with a prosperous company; living in this Garden District home in Montgomery. But on Thanksgiving day 2004, they were found dead in their house and killed with an ax-handle.

Luverne Mayor, Joe Sport, did business with the Springfords. He says it sent shockwaves to through the city.

"Well the question always comes back: Why would a child want to kill their parent? In particular, one that had provided to the children like they did to their children," Said Joe Sport.

That child and suspect was the Springfords' son, Brent Springford Jr., who investigators later found out drove from his Colorado home and waited in his parents backyard before the slaying.

"Absolute shock, surprise. I had no idea that that kid had any problems," Said Judge William King, a friend of Brent Springford.

All that's left are two graves: one for Brent. The other for Charlotte.

Charles Sport taught Charlotte in high school. He calls her his favorite student. He later met Brent when they married. He says he often visits their graves.

"What's a message you have for them, if they're hearing us talking right now?" Asked reporter, Catalina Trivino.

"I'd like for them to know that they haven't been forgotten," Said Charles Sport. "That they're not as much as Jesus, of course, but they're still alive today in the minds of those who knew them and knew them very well. That they are gone and not forgotten so to speak. That while living, they left their mark. And their mark was cut so deeply that they will be remembered, in my opinion, for years to come."

People in Luverne and also Montgomery say the family was very giving. They contributed to many organizations.