PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Daniel Serafini, the former Major League Baseball player arrested in connection with the shooting of a Lake Tahoe-area couple in 2021, appeared in court for the first time Tuesday to face the charges against him.
Serafini stepped into the courtroom in Placer County, California, wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles. He pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of Robert Spohr and the attempted murder of Spohr’s wife, Wendy Wood.
Spohr and Wood were the parents of Serafini’s wife. Wood survived the shooting but died several months later.
“The defendant is charged with murder, as well as using a firearm during the commission of the murder, as well as a (charge of) first-degree residential burglary…and then a charge of child endangerment, as well as the attempted murder of Wendy Wood,” said Morgan Gire, Placer County District Attorney, outside of the courthouse.
Placer County officials believe Serafini is the masked person seen in a surveillance video captured outside of the couple’s home on the day of the fatal shooting back in June of 2021.
Gire said that the charges Serafini faces could result in a life sentence.
“With the special circumstance, he faces potentially either a death sentence or life without the possibility of parole. The charge of murder carries 25-to-life and using a handgun carries additional penalties as well,” Gire said.
Outside of the courtroom, the victims’ loved ones did not want to speak on the record but said they are proud of Placer County officials for making arrests in this case.
Earlier this month, officials announced they had detained Serafini in Winnemucca, Nevada and another suspect, Samantha Scott, in Las Vegas, in connection with the shooting.
Serafini, who played for several MLB teams from 1996 to 2007, remains in the Placer County Jail without bail and is expected to be back in court on Nov. 27.
Scott is expected to be extradited from Las Vegas later this week or next week, according to Placer County officials.