CLEARFIELD – The second day of Mark Spotz’s Post Conviction Relief Act hearing started with testimony from two officers in the Clarion Police Department.
Spotz was convicted of first-degree murder for the 1995 kidnapping, robbery and shooting of a Schuylkill County woman. Spotz was also convicted of voluntary manslaughter on Sept. 26, 1995, for the death of his brother, Dustin, in Clearfield County. He was found guilty in two other cases as well; he murdered two women in York and Cumberland counties.
A death warrant was signed for Spotz on May 30, 2006 by Gov. Edward G. Rendell. Before the death warrant was even signed, though, an anticipatory stay was granted by the U.S. Middle District Court of Pennsylvania.
Spotz is seeking a retrial. His attorney’s have been addressing concerns over the ineffectiveness of Spotz’s trial council for not objecting to certain issues brought up by the prosecution as well as evidence that may have shown Dustin to have a violent disposition, which may have helped in their self defense claim.
Lieutenant Barry Walters discussed an issue in which Dustin was wanted for the stabbing of two people. Walters said that when police arrived Dustin locked the door and fled to the roof of building he was in. Police followed. Walters said that Dustin was armed with a baseball bat and threatened officers by swinging the bat.
Walters testified that another officer, one in which Dustin had a rapport with, had to be called in to talk him down.
Walters also discussed a time when he and another officer had to transport Dustin to a hearing. Walters had asked the district judge to either move the place of the hearing or reschedule it because Dustin was agitated.
He said that once Justin was in the car he began kicking a door window until it shattered. Walters said that they had to pull over and ask for prisoner transport vehicle to move Dustin.
“I would say he was out of control,” said Walters.
Walters said that he knew Dustin had a reputation for violence from other police officers.
Detective Ronald Egolf testified that he was the officer that talked Dustin down from the roof. He said that he had a rapport with both Dustin and Mark Spotz. Egolf said that he heard that Dustin was a fighter.
One of the issues brought up by the Clearfield County President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman was whether the defense attorneys could show that Dustin had been sentenced in these issues. The attorneys said they could provide that information at the appropriate time.
Dr. Neil Blumberg, a forensic psychiatrist took the stand. Before the lunch break he testified that Mark suffered from three separate disorders. He said that he came to these conclusion after reviewing a vast number of records as well as interviewing Mark.
He said that in his opinion Mark suffered from suffered from post traumatic stress disorder which was a result of abuse and neglect while growing up.
He also said that he believed Mark suffered from a personality disorder for the same reasons as the PTSD.
The third disorder he believes Mark suffers from is polysubstance abuse. He noted that Mark used a variety of drugs including alcohol, marijuana and cocaine among others to cope with the trauma of his childhood.
Blumberg was also slated to testify to his findings of Dustin’s mental state.