Police: No way it was an accident

NORWICH – The Peter M. Wlasiuk retrial continued Monday with a number of police investigators telling a jury of eight women and four men they believe Wlasiuk murdered his wife.

Several police officers who played intricate parts in the 2002 murder investigation appeared as witnesses for the prosecution yesterday, including Chenango County Sheriff’s Lt. James E. Lloyd, who was then a sergeant detective, and Sgt. Detective Richard Cobb, who was a sergeant in 2002 in charge of accident reconstruction.

Wlasiuk, 39, was arrested April 8, 2002 and charged with second degree murder. He is accused of killing his wife, Patricia, who was 35 at the time. Her body was pulled from Guilford Lake at about 12:30 a.m. April 3, 2002 after an apparent truck accident.

District Attorney Joseph McBride began the day by calling Cobb to the stand and, using a projector, demonstrated his findings to the jury.

Cobb said he had no experience in submerged vehicle accidents, but had been involved in the investigation of around 120 to 150 motor vehicle accidents, eight involving fatalities, at the time of Mrs. Wlasiuk’s death.

Cobb arrived at around 2 a.m. at the Guilford Lake scene where Peter and Patricia Wlasiuk ran their 1998 GMC dual-wheel one-ton extended cab into the 40 degree water.

Cobb said he was briefed by Chenango County Sgt. Scott Carpenter and then began taking photographs and examining the tire marks that deputies had marked off.

Cobb said he noted where the truck’s tires had made their impressions and drew a preliminary sketch of the car’s hypothetical trajectory, showing a diagram and helicopter photograph of the scene to the jury.

The sketch and picture, which had cones tracing the alleged route of Wlasiuk’s vehicle that night, showed a very gradual curve toward the 33-foot-wide area of the lake shore unprotected by guard rails. Cobb said the opening was the only open access to the lake of its kind on County Route 35.

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