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$211,257: Cost to Defend Accused Killer Hugo Selenski to Date

KINGSTON – Newswatch 16 received a copy of the checks to Hugo Selenski legal defense team who spent two years preparing for a death penalty murder trial.

Checks to lawyer Shelley Centini for defending Selenski came to $121,425.

During that same two-year period, Luzerne County Paid Private Investigator James Sulima $29,790, to help in Selenski’s defense.

A third member of the defense team, attorney Ed Rymsza of Williamsport was paid a little more than $60,000.

Add it up, and Luzerne County taxpayers spent more than $211,257 defending Hugo Selenski for less than two years, and two members of his defense team have been removed from the case.

In January Centini and Sulima were charged, along with Selenski of intimidating five witnesses with information on the 2002 murders of Michael Kerkowski and Tammy Fassett in Luzerne County.

Selenski is charged with murder in that case.

Centini and Sulima were removed from the Selenski defense.
They’ve pleaded not guilty to witness tampering charges.

Selenski lawyer Ed Rymsza, who was not implicated in the alleged witness tampering, has been joined by another lawyer.

Luzerne County Common Pleas Court Judge Fred Pierantoni,  put a $40,000 cap on the amount of public money to be spent on Selenski’s defense from this point forward.

Selenski was supposed to go on trial in march.

But after the indictments of Centini and Sulima, the trial is on an indefinite delay.


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