Greene couple to be extradited for triple homicide in W.Va.

July 21, 2014
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From left, Samuel Lee Spencer and Natasha Lynn Burns
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Samuel Lee Spencer
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Natasha Lynn Burns

WAYNESBURG – A Greene County man who allegedly told an acquaintance, “I told you I would get them back,” in relation to a triple homicide Jan. 13 in Littleton, W.Va., now faces first-degree murder charges, along with his girlfriend, in Wetzel County, W.Va.

Samuel Lee Spencer, 25, and Natasha Lynn Burns, 26, of 420 W. Roy Furman Highway, Wind Ridge, are being held in Greene County jail prior to being extradited in the deaths of husband and wife, Michael, 63, and Carmen McDougal, 55, along with the McDougals’ friend, Jimmy Kisner, 48 of Aleppo, Greene County. Spencer and Burns were apprehended by Pennsylvania state police troopers Monday afternoon at the Greene County probation office, where the two had appeared on an unrelated matter.

An autopsy revealed all three victims were stabbed to death, according to a criminal complaint filed by Cpl. William Henderson, the investigating officer for the West Virginia State Police. Kisner’s body was found outside the mobile home. A fire was set to cover up the triple homicide, according to the complaint.

State police and firefighters were called to the McDougal residence on the remote, dead end Cliff Run Road, for a fire at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 13, only to find the home fully engulfed. The bodies of the victims were found in the charred remains, and the fire was ruled suspicious. It was several days before Kisner, who did not live with the McDougals, was identified as the third victim.

Police credit video surveillance obtained from the Koontz Country Cupboard market in Littleton for providing them with a suspect vehicle. Burns and Spencer were subsequently interviewed and both allegedly told police Burns drove to Littleton on Jan. 13 to pick up Spencer.

The vehicle driven by Burns was seized by West Virginia state police and sent to its criminal laboratory where human blood, identified through DNA as Kisner’s, was found inside of it.

Spencer’s acquaintance, Dave Riley, told Henderson Spencer came to his home the night of the crime requesting to use his restroom and clean a cut on his hand. Once there, Spencer allegedly told Riley he had followed through with his threat to “get them back.” Riley told Henderson he asked Spencer what he meant and Spencer confessed in detail to how he just killed the McDougals and Kisner. Riley said Spencer told him his only regret was Burns had to witness the killings. According to the complaint, Burns provided transportation to and from the McDougals’ residence.

According to reports, there was a shooting outside the residence July 31, 2012, involving Nicholas E. Spencer, who sustained multiple gunshot wounds but survived. It is not known if Nicholas Spencer is related to Samuel Spencer. West Virginia state police Sgt. J. E. Shriver said this shooting was unrelated to the triple homicide but said the deaths of the McDougals and Kisner have brought police closer to making an arrest in the shooting case. He said there were multiple suspects being looked at in Pennsylvania.

Spencer and Burns were arraigned before Greene County Magisterial District Judge Lou Dayich. Bail was denied. A hearing on the extradition is set for the pair at 9 a.m. July 28 in Greene County Court of Common Pleas.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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