Last updated: February 17. 2013 2:25AM - 36 Views

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Attorneys for Hugo Selenski have asked the state Superior Court to reconsider a request to dismiss homicide charges, a move that will likely delay the trial again.


Selenski's court-appointed lawyers, Shelley Centini and Edward Rymsza, are seeking to have all 15 judges on the Superior Court contemplate their attempt to have homicide charges dismissed under double jeopardy.


Three judges of the Superior Court on Aug. 28 denied the initial request.


Centini and Rymsza had until Sept. 27 to file an appeal with the state Supreme Court. With the latest request for the entire Superior Court to entertain the dismissal of homicide charges against Selenski, 38, the deadline to file an appeal with the Supreme Court has been vacated.


The clock for a new deadline to file an appeal with the Supreme Court will begin when the full-body of the Superior Court issues a ruling on the latest request.


What does this mean?

More time for Centini and Rymsza to prepare for Selenski's trial.


Centini and Rymsza were appointed in January to defend Selenski on charges he killed Michael Jason Kerkowski, 38, and Tammy Lynn Fassett, 38, on May 3, 2002. The bodies of Kerkowski and Fassett were found buried outside a house on Mount Olivet Road, Kingston Township, where Selenski lived with his then-girlfriend, Christina Strom, on June 5, 2003.


Since being appointed to defend Selenski, Centini and Rymsza have repeatedly asked for the trial to be postponed until 2013.


Luzerne County Judge Fred Pierantoni III granted a request, delaying the trial from April to Sept. 10. Pierantoni has denied all other requests by Centini and Rymsza to postpone the trial.


District attorney responds

In the latest request for all members of the Superior Court to hear the appeal, the District Attorney's Office is relying upon the Aug. 28 ruling by three Superior Court judges.


Selenski's attorneys are claiming the homicide charges for the killings of Kerkowski and Fassett should be dismissed because prosecutors plan to use the same witness, Paul Weakley, 43, who testified in Selenski's first homicide trial held in March 2006.


Weakley led investigators to the bodies of Kerkowski and Fassett. While searching the Mount Olivet Road property, investigators discovered the charred remains they said were Frank James and Adeiye Keiler.


A jury convicted Selenski of burning the bodies of James and Keiler. He was acquitted by the jury of criminal homicide and a mistrial was declared on a second count of criminal homicide for the slayings of James and Keiler.


Selenski's attorneys claim the second trial constitutes double jeopardy because it involves the same witness – Weakley, and Selenski had already faced a trial for the killings of James and Keiler.

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