NORWICH – The Honorable Judge Howard Sullivan decided to recuse himself from the second murder trial of Peter M. Wlasiuk Friday.
Sullivan explained his reasons in a five-page decision. “One thing is certain this court’s determinations – though out there somewhere in the future – are already fodder for second-guessing throughout any retrial. The defendant will question the court’s every adverse ruling. The people might question any ruling favorable to the defendant – wondering if subconsciously, perhaps, the court has compensated for defendant’s endless mistrust to their disadvantage. Ultimately the appearance of fairness and impartiality will be sacrificed on the altar of suspicion,” said Sullivan.
In his initial Sept. 22 court appearance, Wlasiuk and his acting attorney, Public Defender Alan Gordon, asked the Sullivan to step down, referring to a number of remarks made during the first trial. During Wlasiuk’s sentencing in 2003, Sullivan said, “You are a sick and evil man who will no doubt kill again given the opportunity.”