Franklin Murder Trial Under Way

The Anthony Rocco Franklin murder trial is underway in Columbia County Court. Franklin is accused of murdering his ex-son-in-law Frank Spencer at Spencer’s home in Hemlock Township back in July of 2012. Police and prosecutors allege the Franklin and his daughter Maria Sanutti-Spencer, the victim's ex-wife, shot Spencer. Sanutti-Spencer was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for her role in the homicide. Our News Partner Newswatch 16 says during opening statements Thursday a prosecutor called the case an “epic failure by law enforcement.” Spencer made multiple police reports over the years about his ex-wife and father-in-law and the two were not arrested. Witnesses testified Frank Spencer lived in fear that he would be killed by his ex-wife and her father.