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Last updated: May 03. 2013 11:40PM - 700 Views

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WILKES-BARRE — A Luzerne County judge on Friday said homicide and arson charges against a city man will not be thrown out.


Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr., in a one-page order, denied the request of Joseph Derhammer’s attorneys to throw out charges of arson and homicide in a case in which police say Derhammer set fire to a Chester Street home in April 2009, killing 48-year-old Nancy Kostelnick and her daughter, Carolyn Kostelnick, 23.


Derhammer’s attorneys, William Watt and Tom Marsilio, sought to have the charges dismissed due to a lack of evidence presented against him.


Sklarosky has not yet made a ruling regarding statements Derhammer allegedly made to investigators.


WILKES-BARRE — A Hazle Township man will face a second trial on charges relating to withholding more than $90,000 in taxes from his family business.


Mark Lazo, 52, of Pardeesville Road, was scheduled for a second trial on July 29 by Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr.


Lazo’s first trial, on April 9, ended in a mistrial after jurors could not come to a verdict on 43 counts.


Senior Deputy Attorney General George Zaiser is prosecuting the case.


According to court papers, Lazo was president of Lazo Brothers Inc., which operated Ferdinand’s Family Restaurant and Catering on 15th Street in Hazleton. The restaurant closed in 2010. From July 2007 to October 2010, Lazo allegedly failed to pay $91,724 in sales tax for the business and $4,952 in employer tax.


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