NORWICH – The police officer who was assigned to Peter M. Wlasiuk on the night his wife Patricia died testified in court Thursday that Wlasiuk changed some of his story from the time of the incident to time of his official statement, just over two hours later.
Wlasiuk, 39, is charged with second degree murder in the death of his wife Patricia, 35, whose body was found in Guilford Lake after what appeared to be a truck accident that took place at about 12:30 a.m., April 3, 2002.
Investigators claim 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 January 2003, but that decision was overturned on appeal in August 2006.
Chenango County Sheriff’s Sgt. Clarence T. Ellingsen said he arrived at the scene at 12:50 a.m. and was ordered to stay with Wlasiuk. Ellingsen accompanied Wlasiuk from about 1:10 to 4:45 a.m. on the morning of April 3 and explained his observations of Wlasiuk that night to the court Thursday.
The sergeant, who was a deputy at the time, said his original conversation with Wlasiuk took place in the back of the ambulance.
“When I first saw him, it was in the ambulance. He had a blanket wrapped around him. His hair was dry and neat, not in any disarray,” said Ellingsen.
Ellingsen said he did not record the conversation except by taking hand-written notes. Defense Attorney Randel Scharf pointed out that nowhere in Ellingsen’s notes nor in his supporting statement given that night did he mention Wlasiuk’s hair being dry.
“When we first talked, he said he grabbed her (Patricia) and pulled her from the truck, but that he’d lost her on his way to shore. He then said he called for her, by name several times, from the shore before going to nearby houses for help,” Ellingsen said.