NORWICH – A pattern again emerged Tuesday in the Peter M. Wlasiuk murder retrial as the prosecution continued to attack the defendant’s changing story while the defense carried on its critical examination of errors made during the police investigation.
Prosecution points out Wlasiuk’s inconsistency
Testimony was set to begin Tuesday where it left off Monday with Sheriff’s Lt. James E. Lloyd taking the stand, but instead District Attorney Joseph McBride requested that Civil Attorney Hugh Leonard be allowed to testify first.
Leonard read a transcript from a July 18, 2002 interview with Wlasiuk that took place at the old Chenango County Sheriff’s Office.
Leonard was contracted by New York Central Mutual Insurance to perform an investigation into an claim made by Wlasiuk attempting to collect on a policy over the damages done to his 1998 GMC dual-wheel one-ton extended cab.
The vehicle was the one involved in the fatal event that claimed Patricia Wlasiuk’s life on April 3, 2002. She was 35 years old at the time.
According to Wlasiuk, he and his wife were traveling east on County Route 35 in the Town of Guilford to retrieve their three children from a baby-sitter when they were involved in a fatal accident.
Police arrested Wlasiuk on April 8, 2002, accusing him of staging the accident to cover up the murder of his wife.
However, the exact cause of the accident has been in dispute and the prosecution has continually drawn attention to the inconsistencies in the defendant’s version of events given to investigators.
These issues were again brought into focus Tuesday as Leonard read aloud a record of an examination performed under oath with Wlasiuk. The interview took place just three months after the incident in 2002. In the six-year-old court record, Wlasiuk detailed a completely different story at the vehicle insurance inquiry than the one he originally gave to police.
During the 23-minute interview, Wlasiuk told Leonard that the couple was traveling to get their children from Joyce Warden’s house on Mechanic Street in Guilford when Peter allegedly made Patricia turn the vehicle around while in a heated dispute because he suddenly realized she had been drinking.
According to Peter, Patricia stopped the vehicle and began a K-turn in the middle of County Rt. 35 and while in the course of this maneuver, she mistakenly accelerated the truck off the road, through the guardrail and into Guilford Lake.