NORWICH – Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride confirmed Wednesday morning that the second murder trial of Peter Wlasiuk has been adjourned until September. The trial had been set to begin with jury selection Monday.
McBride declined to elaborate, except to say that the postponement, approved by Broome County Judge Martin Smith, came at the request of the defense.
Wlasiuk is charged with second degree murder in the 2002 death of his wife Patricia, whose body was found in Guilford Lake after what appeared to be a truck accident. Police later claimed Wlasiuk killed his wife at their Oxford home, and staged the Guilford Lake accident to cover it up. A jury convicted Wlasiuk of murder in 2003, but that decision was overturned on appeal in 2006.
On Monday, Judge Smith denied defense attorney Randel Scharf’s repeated requests to delay the May 12 start date due to what he claimed was incomplete information provided by the prosecution and a new round of tests on Patricia Wlasiuk’s blood. Smith ordered that the new blood tests be performed immediately, but wanted to be informed by Thursday if that was not possible. It is unknown at this time if that was the direct reason for the adjournment.
Scharf confirmed by telephone interview this morning that in the interim, he will be seeking a change in venue for the trial.
More details will be published in Thursday’s edition of The Evening Sun.