U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Press-Enterprise reporter subpoenaed to testify in Pennsylvania murder trial

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 22, 2018

Subpoena/Legal Order

Legal Orders
Legal Order Target
Legal Order Venue
May 22, 2018

John-Erik Koslosky and Kristin Baver, reporters for the Press Enterprise newspaper in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, were subpoenaed in May 2018 to give testimony in the murder trial of Anthony “Rocco” Franklin. Centre County senior judge David Grine quashed both subpoenas on May 24, 2018.

Franklin is currently on trial for the 2012 murder of his former son-in-law, Frank Spencer. He fled to Argentina but was arrested by Argentinian authorities, before being extradited to the United States on April 12, 2017. Baver and Koslosky interviewed Franklin over the phone while he was imprisoned in Argentina, and the Press Enterprise published an article based on the interview. Another local newspaper, The Daily Item, also conducted a jailhouse interview with Franklin over the phone. 

State prosecutors subpoenaed Koslosky and Baver, as well as a reporter from The Daily Item, to testify about what Franklin told them during the interviews. The three reporters successfully fought the subpoenas, convincing Judge Grine that the prosecution did not need their testimony to make its case.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].