Extradition hearing held for Greene murder suspects

July 28, 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 – An extradition hearing was held Monday morning in Greene County Court for the Wind Ridge couple wanted by West Virginia State Police for a triple homicide in Littleton, W.Va., of husband and wife, Michael, 63, and Carmen McDougal, 55, along with the McDougals’ friend, Jimmy Kisner, 48, of Aleppo, Greene County, Jan. 13.

Samuel Lee Spencer, 25, and Natasha Lynn Burns, 26, of 420 W. Roy Furman Highway, face three counts each of first-degree murder for the deaths. Neither waived extradition in court. Harry Cancelmi, the attorney for Spencer, said his client was not prepared to waive. He noted he was not saying his client was refusing to be extradited just that he was not prepared at this time.

Greene County District Attorney Marge Fox said a governor’s warrant will be requested for Spencer’s return to West Virginia.

Burn’s attorney, David Russo, said his client was not prepared to waive extradition either. He asked for and was granted a continuance until 9 a.m. Aug. 4.

Spencer and Burns were apprehended by Pennsylvania State Police troopers July 21 at the Greene County probation office, where the two had appeared on an unrelated matter.

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.

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. The fire was set to cover up the triple homicide, according to the complaint.

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 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.

On the evening of the incident, Spencer allegedly told an acquaintance, “I told you I would get them back,” before confessing in detail to the crimes and stating it was Burns who drove him to and from the McDougal residence. Spencer allegedly said his only regret was that Burns witnessed the killings.

According to reports, there was a shooting outside the McDougal residence July 31, 2012, involving Spencer’s cousin, Nicholas E. Spencer, who sustained multiple gunshot wounds but survived. 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 are being held in Greene County jail without bail.

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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