WILKES-BARRE — A corrections officer from Luzerne County was the victim of a homicide according to the decision reached Tuesday at a coroner’s inquest hearing.
The jury also decided that Matthew Gallie’s girlfriend is the person who shot him two years ago.
It was within the gates of the Eagle Rock complex near Hazleton two years ago that state corrections officer Matthew Gailie died of a gunshot to the face.
Gailie lived there with his girlfriend Jessica Alinsky who called 911 that night in September 2011.
But authorities never determined if the death was a suicide, accident, or homicide.
A jury ruled that it was a homicide after sitting through 2 days of evidence presented by the District Attorney’s office.
It is the first coroner’s inquest in Luzerne County in 17 years.
The family of Gailie’s girlfriend testified Gailie had attempted suicide in the past.
Gailie’s family and a psychiatrist said he showed no signs of depression or suicidal thoughts.
But it was the forensic pathologist’s testimony that likely changed the course of the inquest. He said Gailie was shot under the nose which he says is an unlikely spot for a self-inflicted gunshot.
He also determined the gun was shot five to seven inches away from his face which he said is not consistent with suicide.
Since he first looked at the case the pathologist says the circumstances changed.
He told the jury, “taking everything into consideration, I believe this was a homicide.”
Jessica Alinsky invoked the Fifth Amendment when she was called to the stand Monday.
But her lawyer says she maintains her innocence.
He says it was not surprising that the jury ruled this way because he says only one side of the case was presented.
The assistant district attorney for the case says Alinksy will be charged soon in the homicide of Matthew Gailie.