Former MLB Pitcher Danny Serafini Arrested for Murder and Attempted Homicide

Danny Serafini – a retired MLB pitcher – was arrested on Friday (Oct. 20) in connection to the murder of his father-in-law, Robert Gary Spohr, 70, and the attempted murder of his mother-in-law, Wendy Wood, 68. The alleged incident occurred on June 5, 2021 inside the couple’s home in North Lake Tahoe, CA.

When officers arrived at the crime scene, they found Spohr unresponsive on the floor with a gunshot wound and his wife injured with two gunshot wounds. Spohr was pronounced dead at the scene, but Wood was rushed to a nearby hospital. She eventually recovered, but passed away the following year.

After a two-year investigation that included video surveillance of the home, police officers zeroed in on the couple’s son-in-law, Danny Serafini, but he wasn’t alone. Investigators also had their eyes on Samantha Scott, a 33-year-old woman who knew Serafini – though they didn’t reveal how they knew one another. 

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The video footage shows a man wearing a gray hoodie, a mask covering his face, and a backpack lurking around the couple’s property in the hours leading up to the gruesome murder. It’s unclear who played what role in the killing, but it’s obvious they both had blood on their hands since they were both arrested. 

Danny Serafini and Samantha Scott were arrested on Friday, albeit separately. Serafini was arrested in Winnemucca, NV, while Scott was arrested in Las Vegas, NV. They’ll both be facing a murder charge and an attempted murder charge – while Serafini retained a lawyer, it’s unclear if Scott has done the same.

Investigators have yet to establish a motive behind the shooting and formal charges have yet to be filed, but both Serafini and Scott are currently being extradited to California as they make their way through the system. Placer County Sheriff Wayne Woo released a statement praising his team for their dedication. 

“Today, justice was served,” the statement read. “The apprehension of those responsible for the tragic events that unfolded in Homewood, North Lake Tahoe in 2021 stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication of our detectives, law enforcement partners, and the persistence of our pursuit of truth.”

Danny Serafini Was an MLB Pitcher for 7 Seasons

Danny Serafini was drafted by the Minnesota Twins with the No. 26 overall pick (1st round) of the 1992 MLB June Amateur Draft. He made his major league debut with the Twins on June 25, 1996 at just 22 years old, and played in his final game with the Colorado Rockies on September 13, 2007 at 33 years old. 

He ended up playing in 104 games and receiving 33 starts over his 7-season career between 1996 and 2007. He retired with a 15-16 record, 6.04 ERA, and 127 strikeouts in 263.2 innings pitched. His best season came in 1998 with the Twins when he finished with a 7-4 record and 46 strikeouts in 75.0 innings. 

Serafini also had several stints overseas as he fought to keep his career alive at the turn of the century. He briefly pitched in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in 2002 and the Mexican League in 2003 before spending nearly four years pitching in Nippon Professional Baseball between 2004 and 2007. 

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After retiring from the MLB, Danny Serafini spent several years in the Mexican League as he saw his career coming to an end. He has also owned a baseball academy and a bar in Sparks, NV – the latter of which was featured on an episode of Bar Rescue in 2015. He’ll now be facing decades behind bars. 

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