ROYALTON — Double-homicide suspect Hugo Selenski acted as his own attorney in a preliminary hearing on charges that he and his former defense lawyer Shelley Centini and private investigator James Sulima intimidated at least five witnesses in Selenski’s homicide case in Luzerne County.
Selenski smiled and nodded his head when Michael Shutlock, Jason McEvoy, Joseph Phillips and Joseph Pilcavage testified that they all received letters from Selenski in a restaurant in Larksville in July 2012.
State prosecutors allege Centini and Sulima passed out the handwritten letters from Selenski to the four men. Each witness testified that their letters from Selenski asked how they were doing and how their families were doing. Pilcavage testified he set up the meeting at the Larksville restaurant upon request from Centini.
Each witness said they felt strange that they were meeting about Selenski when they had not heard from Selenski or received a letter from him since Selenski’s arrest on June 5, 2003.
Shutlock testified he read the first line in the second paragraph in his letter that he said stated he should consider changing his testimony. Shutlock said he did not finish the letter and threw it back down onto a table.
McEvoy testified that his letter from Selenski questioned if McEvoy was with Selenski “on that day.” McEvoy noted that he did not know which day Selenski was talking about.
Phillips testified his letter from Selenski questioned him about a party.
“I was never there, or where it was,” Phillips said.
Pilcavage testified he was good friends with Selenski “back in the day” when they used to ride ATVs. Pilcavage said he has not talked to or received any letters from Selenski since his arrest.
“It’s very strange sitting in this chair next to him. I miss my friend Hugo,” Pilcavage said, noting his letter was not threatening.
District Judge David Judy said he will reconvene the preliminary hearing on June 4 when arguments will be made by State Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye, Centini’s lawyer Al Flora, Sulima’s lawyer Bill Ruzzo and Selenski.