Governor Corbett Signs Death Warrant For ‘Kill-For-Thrill’ Convict

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Governor Tom Corbett has signed a death warrant for 52-year-old John Lesko.

He’s convicted of killing 21-year-old Apollo Police Officer Leonard Miller back in January of 1980. It was his third day on the job.

It marks the fifth time that a governor has signed a death warrant for Lesko.

Governor Dick Thornburg signed two warrants in 1985 and 1986 and Governor Tom Ridge also signed two in 1998 and 1999. But, in the previous cases, appeals prevented executions.

Roberta Davis, a former Apollo police officer who worked with Miller, spoke to KDKA-TV about the development.

“It’s one more step towards the closure,” she said. “I don’t think we honestly thought it was going to take this long.”

Davis is now a detective in the Armstrong County District Attorney’s office.

“We have to keep being the voice for Leonard,” she said.

“Somebody has to keep saying, ‘This was our brother and he was murdered. And we are going to stand and keep our voice going till it’s closed.’”

Lesko, described as the trigger-man, was convicted along with 53-year-old Michael Travaglia, of killing Miller, and three other people in a “kill-for-thrill” crime spree.

Lesko’s execution is set for November 9th.

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  • Thomas Skidmore

    Do him in now and get it overwith, already.


    It wont happen. Our court system sucks.

  • Thomas J Duttine

    30 years too long!!!!

  • Bea

    No one should get 30 years of appeals. If you haven’t been able to prove anything by then, you should get the penalty the jury gave you. Where is the victims’ right to a speedy closure?

  • Sully

    This isn’t justice –this is a JOKE. He should have been executed 29 years ago. And our justice system in Pennsylvania will allow him to file another appeal (at the taxpayer’s expense ) and keep on living and filing appeals.

  • Stp the hatespeech

    Robocop33 is the profile name of a member of the website. After a story about BART officers shooting a subject he posts these comments

    “Isn’t it stupid and sad to be glad it was a white man that they shot? Had it been a Black guy then all hell would have broken loose withing the hour with protests and demands to charge the Officers involved with murder. God Bless the Officers who work there as I would not work in that cesspool called Oakland for any amount of money.”

    But allows these type of comments.
    Google these words together, Robocop33 policelink obama.

  • jim

    we have better luck they die of old age than being executed. 30 plus years is just to long for the families of the victims

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