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    1. #1

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      John C. Lesko - Pennsylvania Death Row


      Police Officer
      Leonard Miller





      Summary of Offense:

      John Lesko and Michael Travaglia went on a crime binge near Pittsburgh that came to be called the "kill for thrills" spree. Between December 29, 1979, and January 3, 1980, they took the lives of a church organist, an unemployed security guard, a seamstress and a rookie police officer. John Lesko was sentenced to death in Westmoreland County on May 17, 1995 for the 1980 killing of Leonard Miller, a rookie police officer from Apollo, Armstrong County. Lesko pled guilty in the drowning of William Nicholls, 34, of Mount Lebanon.

      For more on Travaglia, see: http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...ania-Death-Row

    2. #2
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      No new trial for 'kill-for-thrill' death row inmate John Lesko

      The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled today that convicted cop killer John Lesko is not entitled to a new trial and penalty hearing for the 1980 murder of Apollo police officer Leonard Miller.

      The decision comes on an appeal to a 2006 decision that granted Lesko a new trial and a third penalty hearing challenging his death sentence for killing Miller, a rookie policeman working only his third day on the job.

      In 2002, Westmoreland County Judge Richard McCormick Jr. granted Lesko a new trial and sentencing hearing.

      District Attorney John Peck appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. He said yesterday that the ruling brings Lesko a step closer to his execution.

      "He's closer to the death penalty, because he was not granted a new trial or sentencing hearing," said Peck, who worked on the appeal with assistant District Attorney Tom Grace for the past decade.

      "We're extremely gratified. This appeal process has been a 10-year struggle," he said.

      Lesko, of Homestead, and co-defendant Michael Travaglia, of Washington Township, went on a killing spree over the Christmas holiday in 1979, killing four people before they were arrested in a Pittsburgh hotel. Their crimes became known as the "kill-for-thrill" murders.

      Miller had stopped the stolen sports car that Lesko and Travaglia were riding in on Route 66 in Oklahoma Borough. They had taunted Miller several times into chasing them. Miller was shot twice as he approached their car.

      Travaglia also faces execution.

      http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1EvDzBbz1

    3. #3
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      'Kill-for-thrill' death row inmate asks for lawyer on federal appeal

      A convicted cop killer whose death sentence has been overturned twice is asking a federal judge to appoint a lawyer to help him with his third round of appeals.

      John C. Lesko, 52, of Homestead made the request today in response to a Feb. 24 ruling by the state Supreme Court that overturned a 2006 Westmoreland County court decision granting him a new trial and sentencing hearing.

      Lesko and Michael Travaglia, 52, of Washington Township, went on a killing spree over the Christmas holiday in 1979. They killed 4 people before police arrested them in a Pittsburgh hotel and their crimes became known as the "kill-for-thrill" murders.

      A jury sentenced the pair to death in 1981 for the killing of their last victim, Apollo police Officer Leonard Miller, 21. Lesko and Travaglia used a stolen sports car to lure Miller from a convenience store they planned to rob and then shot him twice as he approached the car on Route 66 in Oklahoma Borough.

      Travaglia also faces execution.

      (source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

    4. #4
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      Judge appoints lawyer for appeal of 'kill-for-thrill' death row inmate

      A federal judge today agreed to appoint a federal public defender to handle a convicted cop killer`s appeal of his death sentence but refused to grant a stay of execution because the governor hasn`t signed his death warrant yet.

      John C. Lesko, 52, of Homestead has twice won appeals of his 1981 conviction and death sentence for the 1979 killing of Apollo police Officer Leonard Miller, 21. Lesko and Michael Travaglia, 52, of Washington Township, used a stolen sports car to lure Miller away from a convenience store they planned to rob and then shot him twice as he approached the car.

      Miller was the last victim of Lesko and Tavaglia`s killing spree that left four people dead over the Christmas holiday. Their crimes became known as the "kill-for-thrill" murders.

      The state Supreme Court in February overturned a 2006 Westmoreland County court decision that would have granted Lesko a new trial and sentence hearing. Lesko is appealing the state ruling in federal court.

      He and Travaglia remain on death row awaiting execution.

      http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1VJH1NjPY

    5. #5
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      Umm..OK..

      W. Pa. defendant John Lesko granted stay

      A federal judge granted a stay of execution Wednesday for a man sentenced to death for killing a western Pennsylvania police officer in 1980.

      Gov. Tom Corbett had scheduled 52-year-old John Lesko for execution on Nov. 9.

      But U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry ordered the state to suspend the execution indefinitely while Lesko pursues his federal appeal.

      Lesko and his co-defendant Michael Travaglia have pursued separate appeals since being sent to death row in 1981 after both were convicted of first-degree murder for killing Apollo police Officer Leonard Miller on Jan. 3, 1980 days after killing three others in a so-called "kill for thrill" spree.

      Lesko's attorney has argued that the fatal shot was fired by Travaglia.

      http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/art...#ixzz1YdbquF9g

    6. #6
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      The man has been on DR for 30years, and he still has appeals left???? HA HA....What a joke......

    7. #7
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      Your people still hand down death sentences, too bad PA will not adopt DE's execution protocol.

    8. #8
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      Lesko files federal appeal in 1979 cop killing

      Prosecutors withheld documents that would have undermined two key witnesses in his Westmoreland County trial, convicted cop killer John C. Lesko claims in a federal appeal filed Friday.

      Lesko, 53, of Homestead and co-defendant Michael Travaglia, 53, of Washington Township are sitting on death row for the 1979 killing of Apollo police Officer Leonard Miller, 21.

      In his 125-page petition, Lesko offers numerous reasons why his first-degree murder conviction and death sentence should be overturned. In particular, he claims that prosecutors withheld earlier statements by two witnesses that contradicted their trial testimony that Lesko said he wanted to kill the officer.

      Since Travaglia pulled the trigger, prosecutors needed that testimony to convict Lesko of first-degree murder instead of second-degree murder, the appeal filed by the federal public defender`s office says.

      Miller was the last victim of Lesko and Travaglia`s killing spree that left four people dead over the Christmas holiday. Their crimes became known as the "kill-for-thrill" murders.

      They used a sports car stolen from another murder victim to lure Miller away from a convenience store they planned to rob. Travaglia shot Miller twice as he approached the car, according to court records.

      Gov. Tom Corbett signed Lesko`s death warrant in September, but U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry has stayed the execution while Lesko pursues the appeal.

      http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1jdhR6Jo1

    9. #9
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      April 2, 2012

      MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re 12 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by JOHN C. LESKO. It is not "second or successive" and, therefore, it is not subject to the requirements of 28 U.S.C. 2244(b).

      http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal...1049/198550/24

    10. #10
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      Judge denies appeal of 'kill-for-thrill' convict on Pennsylvania's death row

      A federal judge Tuesday denied convicted cop killer John C. Lesko's appeal of his murder conviction and death sentence.

      Lesko, 56, of Homestead and co-defendant Michael Travaglia, 56, of Washington Township are on death row for the 1980 killing of rookie Apollo police Officer Leonard Miller, who was 21.

      Miller, who was on his third day as a full-time officer, was the last victim of their killing spree, known as the “kill-for-thrill” murders, that left four people dead over the Christmas holiday.

      Travaglia, who is appealing his death sentence, pulled the trigger, but the jury convicted both men of intentionally killing Miller.

      Lesko filed several reasons for overturning his conviction, including a claim that prosecutors withheld documents that would have undermined two key witnesses in his Westmoreland County trial and that his lawyer didn't allow him to testify in his own defense.

      U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon ruled that, even if true, none of the things Lesko claims in his appeal would have undermined the prosecution's evidence that he and Travaglia goaded Miller into a car chase so that they could kill the officer during the subsequent traffic stop.

      http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7...#ixzz3PTdqc8ii
      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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