WILKES-BARRE — Hugo Selenski’s trial in the killings of two people in 2002 was scheduled Monday to begin in March.
But will it take place?
Selenski’s trial has been scheduled many times only to be postponed since Luzerne County detectives and state police at Wyoming charged him in May 2006 for the strangulation deaths of Michael Kerkowski and Tammy Fassett in May 2002.
His trial was set to begin this past September only to be continued when prosecutors advised the presiding judge, Fred Pierantoni III, on July 19 that a statewide grand jury was investigating the Selenski case.
Sources said the grand jury was investigating possible witness tampering.
No mention of the grand jury, being handled by the state Office of Attorney General, was made Monday during the brief status conference before Pierantoni.
Selenski’s attorneys, Shelley Centini and Walter Rymsza, were in the courtroom and told Pierantoni they were ready to proceed to trial.
First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce, along with Assistant District Attorney Jarrett Ferentino, also told Pierantoni they were ready to go.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Selenski, 40, if he is convicted of first-degree murder.
Pierantoni scheduled the trial to begin March 3.
Investigators believe Selenski killed Kerkowski and Fassett in Kerkowski’s Hunlock Township home on May 3, 2002, and buried their bodies outside the Kingston Township home where Selenski lived with then-girlfriend Christina Strom.
Their bodies were unearthed by investigators on June 5, 2003. Plastic zip ties were around their ankles, wrists and necks.
Fassett’s sister, Lisa Sands, said she has no hope that the March 2014 trial will take place considering the many postponements over the years.
“Yeah, I’m ready,” Selenski said as he was escorted by sheriff deputies from the courthouse. When asked if Centini will continue to be his lead defense attorney, he replied, “Why would she be removed?”
“That’s just what it is, speculation. Don’t believe everything you hear,” Selenski said.