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

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Ralph Iannotti Ralph Iannotti
Ralph Iannotti began working as a KDKA-TV general assignment reporter...
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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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