Gov. Corbett signs two execution warrants
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Gov. Tom Corbett signed two new execution warrants of men convicted of killing police officers in Westmoreland and Philadelphia counties.
Michael J. Travaglia, now 54, was convicted of murder for the January 1980 killing Apollo officer Leonard C. Miller. A jury convicted Mr. Travaglia and co-conspirator John C. Lesko of shooting Ofc. Miller, who was 21, after he pulled the pair over for a traffic stop. Also killed in their spree were Peter Levato, 49, of the North Side; Marlene Sue Newcomer, 26, of Fayette County; and William C. Nicholls, 32, of Mt. Lebanon.
The governor issued an earlier execution warrant for Mr. Travaglia in July 2012, but a federal court issued a stay, which was lifted in January. His execution has been scheduled for April 25. Mr. Corbett also signed an execution warrant for Mr. Lesko in September 2011 that was stayed and still pending appeal.
The other death warrant is for Borgela Philistin, now 39. He was convicted of the June 1993 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Hayes during another traffic stop, and an accompanying shooting that left another officer paralyzed. His execution is scheduled for April 23.
The execution warrants signed Wednesday were the 25th and 26th signed by Gov. Corbett since taking office. Both men are being held at the State Correctional Institution at Greene.
First Published February 28, 2013 6:23 pm