Car accident delays Wlasiuk trial

NORWICH – A serious car accident has delayed the start of the murder trial of Peter M. Wlasiuk.

According to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office, Wlasiuk’s father, Thomas Wlasiuk, 65, of Norwich, and Peter’s three daughters were injured Wednesday afternoon when a vehicle operated by Edward M. Arenth, 20, of Greene, failed to yield the right of way and made a left turn into Wlasiuk’s lane.

The Wlasiuk family was traveling south on State Highway 8 in Guilford, operating a Dodge mini-van, when Arenth attempted to make a left turn onto Shumway Road into the path of the Wlasiuk vehicle.

Arenth was airlifted to Wilson Memorial Hospital in Johnson City with hip and abdominal injuries. Thomas Wlasiuk and the three children were all taken to Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich with “non-life threatening injuries.”

Court began at 9 this morning with Defense Attorney Randel Scharf asking for a delay in opening statements until Tuesday. He said his client was very upset and one of his daughters still remained in the hospital.

Judge Martin Smith granted the postponement and District Attorney Joseph McBride said he had no objection.

Smith also raised concern over a letter written to the court from an employer of one of the selected jurors, saying they underestimated the employee’s value on the job and needed him to be excused. The juror appeared before the court and said his job may be in jeopardy. Smith asked both attorneys how they felt about moving to an alternate and McBride raised concern, saying, “The problem is that every person in that booth is in the same exact position.” Smith postponed the issue until the court could contact the employer.

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