Lupas on Second Selenski Trial

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It’s been 24 hours since Hugo Selenski was acquitted of murder charges, and then charged with two more killings. Prosecutors in Luzerne County are already looking to their next case against him.

 Selenski was charged Wednesday with murdering Wyoming County pharmacist Michael Kerkowski and his girlfriend, Tammy Fassett.

 Police allege Selenski strangled the two in early May, 2002, just as Kerkowski was to be sentenced on drug charges in Wyoming County.

 These killings allegedly happened a full year before the murders of Frank James and Adeiye Keiler, and the raid on Selenski’s Back Mountain home.

 According to court papers, before his death, Kerkowski introduced his father to Selenski, telling his dad that Selenski was his best friend and was to be trusted.

 That’s important because court papers state Selenski paid several visits to Kerkowski’s father during the summer of 2002, passing himself off as a middleman for the son in order to get large sums of money from the dad, $60,000 in all. At the time, authorities said Michael Kerkowski was already dead.

 “I am personally prosecuting the next case involving the deaths of Kerkowski and Fassett. I am,” vowed Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas.

 He said he didn’t want to prosecute Selenski for all four murders at once because the facts of the cases are so different.

 “They’re two separate crimes that happened a year apart from each other, different manners of death. We allege one was a shooting and one was a strangulation so they’re two separate crimes. They’re, in my opinion, not capable of being tried together,” Lupas maintained.

 One that thing that will be same is much of the information on the Kerkowski and Fassett murders comes to police from alleged conspirators Paul Weakley and Patrick Russin.

 In the first trial Russin was dubbed “Pat the Rat” by the defense and one juror said he didn’t believe one word out of Weakley’s mouth