Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher arrested in connection with 2021 killing of 70-year-old

Reds pitcher Danny Serafini pitches in the rain at Great American Ball Park in the fourth...
Reds pitcher Danny Serafini pitches in the rain at Great American Ball Park in the fourth inning on Sunday afternoon Aug. 31, 2003. Serafini was arrested Friday as one of two suspects in a 2021 Lake Tahoe homicide.(Cincinnati Enquirer)
Published: Oct. 20, 2023 at 5:08 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (ENQUIRER) - Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Dan Serafini is one of two people arrested in connection with a June 2021 homicide in Lake Tahoe, California, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office identified 49-year-old Serafini and Samantha Scott, 33, as suspects in the killing of 70-year-old Robert Gary Spohr and the attempted murder of Spohr’s wife, officials said in a news release.

The pair were arrested Friday morning in Nevada.

Deputies found Spohr dead from a single gunshot wound at a home in North Lake Tahoe after they received a 911 call. His wife, Wendy Wood, had also been shot and she was able to recover from her wounds after being treated at the hospital, though she died just a year later.

The sheriff’s office did not say whether her death stemmed from the injuries she received in the shooting.

After two years of investigation, detectives were able to gather information and evidence linking Serafini and Scott to the killing, officials said, adding that both suspects are known to each other and the victims.

KXTV, the Sacramento, California-based ABC affiliate, reported that Serafini was Spohr and Wood’s son-in-law.

Serafini and Scott are expected to be extradited back to California to face murder charges.

Born in San Francisco, Serafini attended high school in San Mateo, California. He was selected by the Minnesota Twins as the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 1992 MLB draft, according to his MLB profile.

The Reds signed Serafini as a free agent in August 2003, according to a Cincinnati Post article from that year. He ended the season 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA.

Serafini left the MLB less than a year later to pitch for a Japanese team managed by former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine, though he eventually returned to the U.S. to play for the Colorado Rockies in 2007.

He was suspended for 50 games that year for failing a test for a performance-enhancing drug, according to an ESPN report. At the time, Serafini blamed the positive result on substances he was prescribed by a doctor in Japan.

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