WILKES-BARRE — Accused murderer Hugo Selenski was back in Luzerne County Court this morning with his lawyers requesting to be removed from the case. They say they haven’t been paid in six months.
In court, Hugo Selenski’s lawyers told the judge that unless they could work out an agreement, they refused to continue working for free. By the end of the hearing, they reached an agreement. Now it looks like taxpayers will foot the bill.
Accused murderer Hugo Selenski was brought into county court, unsure if the lawyers representing him would continue to do so.
Selenski is waiting to stand trial for the 2002 murders of Tammy Fasset and her boyfriend Michael Kerkowski in the Back Mountain of Luzerne County.
Earlier this month, Selenski’s attorneys, including Shelley Centini, requested to be removed from the case. She told the judge in court they hadn’t received any payments from the county since October.
Selenski’s lawyers are private attorneys. But according to a courthouse source, they were being paid by the county because no one in the public defenders office could represent Selinski because of conflicts of interest.
According to the source, Selenski’s attorneys were paid more than a public defender would make, but not as much as their normal private attorney fee.
The judge pointed out in court today three times in the past, payments to Hugo’s lawyers were extended past the normal caps and that the attorneys were told they would only get future payments from the county if and when Hugo’s double murder trial started. But in court today, Hugo’s attorney said that wasn’t good enough:
In court, Hugo’s attorneys said they would be willing to stay on the case if they could reach an agreement about payment with the judge. So they went into a private meeting in the judge’s chambers and when they came back out, the judge ruled.
The terms of the agreement were not made public. But the lawyers took back their request to removed and will continue to work on Selenski’s case. A trial date is now set for June 24th.
“I’m happy. I’m happy all the issues are done. I mean we got a trial date. Let’s go. I mean this is going to stick. This date’s in stone,” said Selenski.
Selenski is already serving a 32 to 64 year sentence in state prison for a home invasion and robbery in Monroe County.