NORWICH – Thursday was the first day the Honorable Broome County Court Judge Martin E. Smith presided in court over murder defendant Peter M. Wlasiuk. “Today’s purpose is to clear the air so everyone understands where we are,” said Smith.
Wlasiuk was appointed a private attorney to serve as his public defender because the county’s office was disqualified. In court yesterday, Wlasiuk indicated he was not happy with his current counsel, Scott Clippinger of Smyrna, and requested a different lawyer.
“I don’t feel I can get a fair trial in this county. I do not trust (District Attorney Joseph) McBride or any attorney in this county,” Wlasiuk said, asking for an out-of-county attorney to be appointed as his public defender. Wlasiuk contends that because the first trial drained him financially, it has harmed his chances during the retrial because he cannot afford a private attorney.