Murder Victim’s Neighbors React To Homicide Charges

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MILLVILLE -- The ex-wife of a murder victim in Columbia County is now being charged for his death.

Maria Sanutti-Spencer, 49, is accused of homicide and arson in the death of Frank Spencer two years ago.

State investigators said Sanutti-Spencer’s father is wanted on the same charges.

The state attorney general’s office said Sanutti-Spencer and her father, Anthony Rocco Franklin, 72, terrorized Spencer for years, even setting fire to his home.

Spencer was found shot execution style inside his home near Millville in July of 2012.

Sanutti-Spencer denied any involvement in her ex-husband's murder as she was arraigned on numerous charges including homicide and arson.

“Thank God, justice,” said Spencer’s next door neighbor, Al Cavallini. “Frank was a heck of a nice guy and it's really been on all our minds.”

Cavallini said he's been waiting for this day for two long years.

He said Spencer`s death was a blow to the community.

“He was somebody that would help anybody, and I'm not just saying this because he's gone. He really was a nice man,” said Cavallini. “And the mere fact that somebody could do something like that and we started to think they were going to get away with it.”

Investigators are still looking for Spencer's ex-father-in-law, who police said is now a fugitive parolee.

Police said Spencer was first shot by a rifle from a sniper's nest found across from his home; a smaller gun was then used to shoot him in the head.

“I blame myself for having my air conditioner on loud that I didn't hear [the gun shots] and I don't know what I could have done,” said Cavallini.

Police have charged both father and daughter with terrorizing Spencer for years.

The pair is accused of setting fires to Spencer's home and his girlfriend's home back in 2010.

For Spencer's neighbors, they always believed his ex-wife had a role in his death.

“I think the whole town of Bloomsburg and the surrounding area, because I had people in Benton say to me that they suspected it was his wife,” said neighbor Gloria Holderman.

Maria Sanutti-Spencer is locked up at the Columbia County Prison.

If you have information on her father’s whereabouts, Anthony Franklin, you are asked to call state police.


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