Ex-MLB pitcher arrested in slaying of father-in-law

Personal Injury Attorney

A former Major League Baseball pitcher has been arrested in connection with the killing of his wife’s father and the shooting of her mother two years ago in Lake Tahoe, according to authorities.

Danny Serafini, 49, who last played for the Colorado Rockies in 2007, was arrested Friday in Nevada along with Samantha Scott, 33, on suspicion of killing 70-year-old Robert Spohr and attempting to murder 68-year-old Wendy Wood, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

Spohr and Wood were the parents of Serafini’s wife, Erin, according to his sister-in-law, Adrienne Spohr.

“I am beyond grateful for the hard work and dedication of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s office,” Spohr wrote in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle. “They worked tirelessly for over two years to ensure that this case was solved. They never gave up, and that has meant the world to me and my family.”

Wood was hospitalized and survived the shooting, but died by suicide a year later, Spohr told the Chronicle.

Serafini was arrested in Winnemucca, Nev., while Scott was arrested in Las Vegas. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is awaiting the duo’s extradition.

The killing occurred June 5, 2021, when deputies responded to a 911 call from a residence in Homewood, a neighborhood in North Lake Tahoe. They found Robert Spohr dead from a single gunshot wound and Wood, who had also been shot, but was still alive.

Video surveillance from nearby showed a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt, a face covering and a backpack while he was walking to the house hours before the killing, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office and the Placer County district attorney’s office investigated the case for the next two years.

“The information and evidence detectives gathered led them to identify Serafini and Scott as the suspects; both suspects are known to each other and to the victims,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Serafini’s major league career spanned more than a decade — 1996 to 2007 — but he bounced frequently between the majors and minors. He also pitched for the Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.

He had a 15-16 record with a 6.04 earned-run average.

Serafini also ran a bar called the Bullpen Bar in Sparks, Nev., which was featured in the reality TV show “Bar Rescue” in 2015. In the episode, host Jon Taffer says that Serafini was in debt and had lost his “$14 million fortune through a series of bad investments and a bitter divorce settlement.”



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