School Closings And Delays

Anthony Franklin Arraigned for 2012 Murder of Frank Spencer

MILLVILLE -- A murder suspect who fled the country is now back in our area to face charges.

Anthony Rocco Franklin was brought back from Argentina and arraigned in Millville Wednesday afternoon. Franklin is charged with murder, arson, and other offenses for the death of Frank Spencer in July 2012.

"Did you kill your son-in-law?"

"You got the wrong case, hon. I'm here for drunk driving," Franklin said.

Franklin was not brought into a magistrate's office to be arraigned on DUI charges, but for murder and other felony offenses.

Back in 2012, Frank Spencer was found shot to death at his home in Hemlock Township. Spencer used to be married to Franklin's daughter, Maria Sanutti-Spencer.

Investigators say Spencer was shot twice by two separate guns while he stood inside his front door. Police believe two people were involved, and one of them shot Spencer with a rifle from across the street.

State police say Franklin and his daughter terrorized Spencer for years, then conspired to kill him. Franklin and Sanutti-Spencer were charged with homicide.

Sanutti-Spencer was found guilty on all charges in 2015 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

However, Franklin fled the country in 2013, turning up in Argentina where he has been until now.

"We're very happy that the extradition process went very smoothly from Argentina," said Cpl, Shawn Williams, Pennsylvania State Police. "It was a long day for everyone in law enforcement. We'd like to thank the U.S. Marshals for their assistance in this matter, and we're just glad for the Spencer family that they can finally have their day in this particular case."

Al Cavallini was Spencer's neighbor. He hopes having Franklin in custody helps ease Spencer's family's grief.

"I'm relieved and I feel good for the mother especially. She's been going through hell since," Cavallini said.

Since this is a murder case, bail was denied, which seemed to come as a shock to Franklin.

Franklin has a preliminary hearing tentatively set for April 24 at the Columbia County Courthouse in Bloomsburg.