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Selenski records stir up fight


February 19. 2013 10:02PM
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WILKES-BARRE – Attorneys representing Hugo Selenski, who is accused in a double murder, have filed court papers alleging prosecutors engaged in misconduct when they obtained Selenski's medical records this summer.


Shelley Centini and Edward Rymsza in papers filed in Luzerne County Court called the conduct illegal and asked a judge to impose a number of sanctions against prosecutors, including a $1,000 daily fine.


Selenski, 39, of Kingston Township, is awaiting trial in the May 2002 deaths of Michael Kerkowski and Tammy Fassett, both 38. Their bodies were unearthed from the property where Selenski was living in June 2003. His case is currently on appeal with the state Supreme Court.


Prosecutors have not yet responded to Centini and Rymsza's filing, nor has a judge scheduled a hearing date to address the issues.


Centini and Rymsza said in their filing that prosecutors obtained medical and psychiatric records of Selenski, even though at no time during the course of the case has Selenski made either his mental or physical health an issue.


Court papers say prosecutors obtained the records in August and have been holding the ill-gotten gains silently and intentionally issued subpoenas to obtain the records. A county judge and the attorneys previously denied a request by prosecutors to obtain the records.


The prosecutors did not give notice to defense attorneys they were obtaining the records, court papers say, and did not disclose that they had the records until Dec. 3.


The prosecutors' conduct, the attorneys wrote, should not be tolerated, especially from officers of the court sworn to ‘do justice' and not simply ‘seek convictions.'


The attorneys ask that charges be dismissed against Selenski because of the misconduct. If charges are not dismissed, then the death penalty Selenski faces should be taken off the table, the attorneys said.


If a judge decides neither of those sanctions are appropriate, the attorneys ask that the District Attorney's Office be barred from prosecuting the case or that the documents obtained by prosecutors be destroyed.


Lastly, the defense attorneys ask that the District Attorney's Office pay a $1,000 fine for every day they possess the records.


Sheena Delazio, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 829-7235.




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