Defense asks prosecution for update in Foster Township homicide case

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
Homicide suspect Joseph John Marchetti Jr., of Foster Township, is seen during a previous court appearance. - Times Leader file photo

WILKES-BARRE — Accused of killing his girlfriend and viciously beating her mother, Joseph John Marchetti Jr. appeared in court again Tuesday for a motions hearing before a county judge.

Public defenders Jonathan Blum and William Russo previously requested an update on the progress of prosecutors’ discovery, or information-gathering process.

Assistant District Attorney Daniel Zola told the defense that discovery would likely be completed by June 22.

According to Blum, the defense can’t do anything until then.

“I don’t want to willy-nilly spend taxpayer dollars on experts I might not need,” Blum said.

The defense filed a second motion asking for a bill of particulars. Prosecutors said this amounts to asking for discovery, only in another way.

Luzerne County Judge William H. Amesbury gave Blum and Russo seven days to respond.

Marchetti, 52, is accused of beating and shooting his girlfriend, Antoinette Wilkinson, 46, in their Foster Township home in January.

Investigators say Marchetti also beat Wilkinson’s mother, Barbara Wilkinson, 72, with a lead-filled club and dragged her into the room where her daughter lay bloody, all before shooting himself in the face.

Prosecutors announced their intention to pursue the death penalty against Marchetti in April. He was initially represented by public defenders Michael Kostelaba and Benjamin Stanton, but they were replaced by Blum and Russo as they were not certified to work on capital cases.

Homicide suspect Joseph John Marchetti Jr., of Foster Township, is seen during a previous court appearance.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_web1_TTL031718Marchetti1-3-1.jpgHomicide suspect Joseph John Marchetti Jr., of Foster Township, is seen during a previous court appearance. Times Leader file photo

By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan