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Governor signs execution warrant for Clearfield County man

| Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 7:08 p.m.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed an execution warrant on Tuesday for a Clearfield County man convicted of kidnapping and robbing a woman who was slain during a four-county killing spree in 1995.

Mark Newton Spotz received the death penalty for killing three women — including Penny Gunnet, 41, of York County — in Clearfield, Schuylkill, York and Dauphin counties. His execution is scheduled for Jan. 8.

The slayings began on Jan. 31 when Spotz fatally shot his brother, Dustin, during a fight at the family home.

Gunnet, the third person to die, was on her way home from work on Feb. 2 when she stopped her car at an intersection in York. Spotz, armed with a gun, forced his way into the car and drove around before shooting Gunnet twice at close range. He abandoned her and the car.

After killing another woman that day, Spotz drove around the Carlisle area, picked up friends, bought drugs and went to a motel. There, he bragged about how he killed his brother and “these other women,” a Corbett spokeswoman said.

Gov. Ed Rendell declined a Vatican request in 2003 to commute Spotz's death sentence because he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in Christian counseling while in prison and helped develop programs to guide young people in avoiding violent crime.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or at mhasch@tribweb.com.

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