Barletta: Rocco Franklin headed back to US, and trial

Last updated: March 28, 2017 - 12:38pm


Anthony Rocco Franklin

BLOOMSBURG — By Tax Day, accused murderer Anthony Rocco Franklin should be in U.S. custody, officials say.

Franklin had fled to Argentina after he was accused in the 2012 murder of Frank Spencer. His daughter, Maria Spencer-Sanutti, has been convicted in the killing.

On Monday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office wrote to Congressman Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, to tell him that Franklin will be turned over to the U.S. Marshals service by April 15, Barletta wrote in a press release.

“This is great news for the friends and family of Frank Spencer, the residents of Columbia County, and the members of law enforcement who have worked tirelessly to secure this fugitive’s extradition,” Barletta said. “While this was a long time coming, justice will truly be served when Franklin returns home to face his murder charge in court.”

Barletta and Rep. Tom Marino had gotten involved in the extradition effort years ago, asking then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Loretta Lynch to get Franklin returned to Columbia County for trial.

A judge in Argentina ruled in December 2015 that Franklin was to be extradited to the U.S. for trial, but he appealed.

Last April, it appeared the Argentinian Supreme Court had denied Franklin’s appeal and he would be extradited. However, about a week after that conversation, the Argentinian government said that Franklin had one final appeal remaining. 

Now, the Attorney General’s Office said that the U.S. Marshals Service will pick up Franklin by April 15, 2017.

We'll have more on this story in Wednesday's edition.

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