|Posted by Randi J. Case on February 28, 2016 at 3:20 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by [email protected] on August 8, 2014 at 1:45 PM||comments (0)|
This is a response letter to the third dept in regards to the not so nice letter that Mr. Kruman wrote to the third dept about Peter, David Beers and his lead advocate Randi Case. Mr Kruman explains how much time he spent on this case, which is all lies so Peter had to do a follow up letter defending himself yet again about an attorney who could have cared less about his case and the fact that he has spent 12 years in jail for something he did not do!
Peter M. Wlasiuk 03B0130
Attica Correctional Facility
PO Box 149
Attica, NY 14011
Supreme Court, Appellate Division
Third Judicial Department
PO Box 7288, Capitol Station
Albany, New York 12224-0288
July 23, 2014
RE: People v. Wlasiuk, Appellate Case No. 105548
Reassignment of counsel
Dear Mr. Mayberger,
I am in receipt of Mr. Kruman's letter in which he has conceded to my motion for reassignment of counsel. However, the manner in which he has chosen to articulate himself in the form of this letter has left me of the opinion that I am compelled to further address this matter.
Upon review of the very first paragraph, I am beside myself with the guile of Mr. Kruman and by way of this letter, respectfully request that a future review of his assertions be made, as well as a formal complaint be placed against him.
The mere fact that Mr. Kruman chose to respond to such a sensitive matter by, before first addressing the crux of the matter, felt more of an urgency to insert billable hours into the context, is only indicative of the caliber and thought process of Mr. Kruman. What is further indicative of Mr. Kruman's caliber is, his exaggerated falsehoods now placed before this court once more.
Mr. Kruman has asserted to this court that he has had “7.3 hours of personal or telephone contact with Mr. Wlasiuk,” this is far from the truth. The genesis and necessity to bring forth such a motion stems squarely from the fact that, after over 15 months of representation, Mr. Kruman's involvement regarding this appeal has been nominal. “7.3 hours” of “personal or telephone” contact working on my appeal would have been phenomenal and quite possibly productive, hence alleviating the capability and necessity to bring forth such a motion.
Although Ms. Case, upon being informed of Mr. Kruman's claim of involvement with her consisted of 2.45 hours, met this assertion with denial, I anticipate that an argument of her being an advocate (friend), or interested party would be made in attempt to diminish the validity of her protest however, upon advising investigator Dave Beers of the assertion of 3.45 hours contact had with him, Mr. Beers himself found this assertion to be exaggerated, stating that his involvement of contact with Mr. Kruman regarding my case was more in the neighborhood of an hour and found it particularly odd that Mr. Kruman, within a 15 month span hadn't reached out for him more, and or met with him as Mr. Kruman expressed he would do.
In fact, it had been over a year since Mr. Kruman had spoken with investigator Beers when out of the blue, Investigator Beers received an e-mail from Mr. Kruman stating that he was sending me a letter disclosing the significant list of issues he claimed to have found, intended to meet with me for a personal review, and desired to view the crash site with him. Investigator Beers found the e-mail to be perculiar, but nonetheless welcomed it. However, unbeknownst to Investigator Beers at the time was that, this e-mail was sent only as a result of and directly on the heels of my June 11, 2014, letter to the third department. However, in response to this e-mail, Investigator Beers sent a reply e-mail asking specific questions, Mr. Kruman ignored the e-mail and never responded. As of this juncture, I have never received any such letter from Mr. Kruman and it is my belief that no such letter existed as I believe the whole e-mail thing was a ploy to counter the effects of my allegations to the third department.
In reviewing the motion papers placed before this court in their entirety, as well as my letter of June 11, 2014, I cannot locate any claim made by me that Mr. Kruman is in “Cahoots with Mr. McBride.” On Page 2 of formal motion grounds and reasons for relief were very specific, I never made any specific claim that Mr. Kruman was “in cahoots with Mr. McBride” and have to question if that was a subconscious admission on Mr. Kruman's behalf.
Mr. Kruman speaks of current contact with me consisting of discussions of having to defend himself against aforementioned allegations made by me and rarely the issues in the transcripts that he has uncovered. For Mr. Kruman to make such statements is once again indicative, and quite frankly, substantiates my allegations towards him. Mr. Kruman appears to be of the belief that he does not have to take heed to any question, concern, or allegation had he done so, he would have realized that the crux of my concerns and allegations are that, there was no current contact and hadn't been for quite some months. As to discussing the issues he had uncovered, what are they? The last actual contact had between Mr. Kruman and myself was several months before the motion was brought forth, and at a point where he himself stated that he wasn't even half way through the transcripts, even though he had been in possession of for over seven months. After 10 months of possession of the transcripts, Ms. Case was able to ascertain from Mr. Kruman that he was at the approximate half way mark, yet only 1 month after commencing this motion can make claim that he has read the entire transcripts and is having current conversations with me?
Although it would appear that the end justifies the means, Mr. Kruman's choice to construct a letter that suggests any type of surprise or bewilderment as to my allegations, opinion, or need to bring forth such a motion is just disingenuous. Had Mr. Kruman made any attempt to address and or rectify any of my allegations before it became too late, I am of the opinion that, the necessity for any of this would have been frivolous. But, to remain mute in regards to my requests and allegations, spoke with the most volume.
As for anything being “painfully obvious”, what pain has Mr. Kruman had to endure? A resounding none. The only thing that is painfully obvious is that, 15 months of my life have been wasted by an attorney who cannot blame anyone but himself. So as for terms used such as, incompetent, sabotaging appeals, and hidden agendas, until Mr. Kruman can legitimately explain away why it was his choice to handle my appeal in the manner he did, as far as I am concerned, these interpretations ring the truest.
I apologize to the court for having to burden them with this but as this court should be aware, I was once represented in these matters by another attorney with a hidden agenda by the name of Fredrick J. Neroni, who has since been disbarred decided and entered July 7, 2011 case # D-31-11. It has always been my contention that Mr. Neroni's hidden agenda and actions were a major contributing factor that allowed this wrongful conviction to occur. By the time I was able to bring it to this courts attention, the court was unable, or unwilling to take heed to it. So I am sorry that I felt compelled to bring all of this to the court's attention but, to ignore Mr. Kruman's attempt to shift blame and portray me in an inaccurate light was something that just wouldn't sit well with me. As this court should be aware, I have had several appeals before it and have never had any problems with the previous counsels. Hopefully the assignment of Michael J. Hutter is granted and forthcoming, allowing me to put these lost 15 months behind me and commence a more proper and expedient appeal. If possible, could I please ask for a response and or acknowledgement of this missive.
Peter M. Wlasiuk
cc: Randolf Kruman
Michael J. Hutter
|Posted by [email protected] on August 8, 2014 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by [email protected] on April 5, 2014 at 4:45 PM||comments (0)|
Peter Wlasiuk has been in prison for 12 years, for a crime that many of us believe was not a crime at all.
Patricia Wlasiuk died in a tragic accident. The scientific evidence can prove this. The evidence is on
Everyone who supports that Peter recieves a fair trial PLEASE write letters.
Peter Wlasiuk needs to have his case looked at by an impartial prosecutor and jury, in a venue that is not Chenango County.
In this case there has been prosecutorial misconduct, ineffectiveness of counsel, lies, gossip and negative media attention which came from the district attorney who prosecuted this case.
Why did the District Attorney (Joseph McBride) lie about Patty's cremation?
The defense did not get to do the autopsy they were entitled to do by law because of this lie.
This is just one question, there are many other questions which also require answers.
This case needs to be re investigated from the very start.
This is the only fair and just thing to do.
Peter's lead advocate has written to many of the people in power or with authority but they just ignore her.
We need people to write to the people below expressing your deep concerns about this case and the verdict.
Please keep letters factual and polite. Ask that Peter's case is investigated properly.
The Governor's Office
Contact the Governor's office by phone (518) 474-8390 or mail:
The Honorable Andrew M. CuomoGovernor of New York StateNYS State Capitol BuildingAlbany, NY 12224
People in USA can email via the Contact Form
Attorney General's Office
To contact the Attorney General by mail, please write to:
Office of the Attorney GeneralThe CapitolAlbany, NY 12224-0341
To send an email to the Press Office use: [email protected]
People within USA can use the contact form to EMAIL
Please also write to these newspapers and visit their facebook pages and leave the link to Peter's site.
Please include your full name, address and phone number. (This information will be used for verification purposes only)
New York Post.
Letters to the Editor: [email protected]
The Herald Bulletin
765-640-4800, 640-4815 (fax)
New York Times
To send a letter to the editor:
[email protected] (for readers of The New York Times)
[email protected] (for readers of The International New York Times
Write to [email protected]
Wall Street Journal
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR [email protected]
Editor, The Wall Street Journal1211 Avenue of the AmericasNew York, NY 10036
|Posted by [email protected] on February 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM||comments (1)|
Peter Wlasiuk advocates:
Spoke to Peter, I explained to him what I had recently done in regards to posting the photo showing the area where Patty was alleged to have died, I advised him of all of the positive response that the photo brought out, I explained to Peter that people said they wanted to see more things like this, Peter raised an interesting question, With a case as complex as this one having so many details interwoven and overlapping, where does one start? He believes it would be a great help if people almost in a sense of devils advocate raised issues and allowed him to respond briefly to those issues, one of the things after seeing the response of how helpful a photo is when people are trying to take this case into perspective he has asked me to post the photo showing the drivers side window and how far it was open , the reason for this is,,,if you look at Mr. McBride's interpretation of how far it was open and what was reported in every news paper article, everyone was led to believe that the window was open only six to eight inches, obviously if we were to believe Mr. McBride a grown man could never get out of a window that was only opened six to eight inches, however you now have the opportunity to look at a photo of the actual window and how far it really was open and tell me is there any doubt in your mind as to whether or not someone could escape through this window. Keep in mind that these are the photos taken by the prosecution. (Deputy Parry)
|Posted by [email protected] on February 19, 2014 at 2:15 PM||comments (0)|
In This Case This Picture Says Two, “Not Guilty”
Always ready to put my money where my mouth is, always willing to substantiate any and all claims. I have been thinking long and hard about one of the key factors in this case that bothers me and substantiates not only the defenses claims but mine as well that there is no way peter could have done what the prosecution has claimed such as run Patty down, tackle her, wrestle with her on the ground and smother her. I remember reading in the transcripts where one forensic pathologist for the state claimed that it was his belief and theory that Peter may have sat on Patty extinguishing the life out of her. I believe he referred to it as burkeing. The severe problem that I have with this is that fact that when Patty's body was recovered and autopsied as part of that autopsy they did what is called a micro analysis of her clothes looking for trace evidences. In reading what the state police laboratories came up with as well as looking at the actual photos of her clothes as they appeared on April 3, 2002, I am bothered by the fact that Patty’s shoes are pristine white and not a single article of her clothing has a mud or grass stain on it, has no tearing or has been stressed, no matter how much any of us doesn’t know about the law or science we all have our god given common sense. I challenge anybody to look at this photo, mind you this is the very same area where the prosecution says patty died. After being ran down and tackled, this photo was taken two days after Patty’s passing by the police themselves, how could any of this have happened and yet she has not even a single microscopic piece of mud on her or grass stains, we all know what happens when you fall In the wet grass and mud, I don’t think there is any one us that hasn’t slipped down a hill and gotten them awful grass and mud stains on us, if it wasn’t for those types of stains I guess tide and wisk would be out of business, so like I said I challenge anyone to look at this photo and explain to me how somebody supposedly could be thrown down in a violent manner in this terrain and have nothing on them.
----- Randi J. Case
|Posted by [email protected] on February 13, 2014 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
written by Peter M. Wlasiuk
One of the things that makes my case so complex and frustrating when trying to pinpoint a particular individual, event, or piece of evidence that may have allowed the powers of Chenango County to convict an innocent man is that, no matter how hard I try, the problem becomes that more several-fold. It cannot be pinpointed to just one individual, event, issue, or piece of evidence without speaking on the cumulative effect that allowed such a wrongful conviction to occur.
This has by no means been easy for me, and where I would much rather be given the opportunity to plead my case to a proper investigating authority, I am forced to do it this way which leaves me wide open to claim that I am only blaming everyone else and trying to avoid responsibility, the very same accusation we just recently heard. I am trusting in my principal and lead advocate’s advice to just keep providing them with as much truth, facts and evidence as I can and let the chips fall where they do. It only makes sense to take their advice, how could I ever expect anyone to advocate for me, support me, or search for the truth, if they aren’t provided with all of the facts to assist them during their search. So in the spirit of this advice, it would appear that it is imperative that I keep bringing forward the facts that few even know of.
Circumstances create opportunities. Now on its' face, one would almost be compelled to construe those words as nothing more then an inspirational or positive statement. But what happens when the opportunities derived are obtained as a result of ill will? Can the results ever be relied upon as something true, good and honorable? I say this because, as a result of one particular individual's greed and ill will this afforded Mr. McBride and Det. Lloyd with great liberties and opportunity to advance in their ill will. This individual I speak of is my first trial attorney, Fredrick J. Neroni of Delhi New York.
After serious reflection in preparation for this next disclosure, I have concluded that perhaps there is blame that I must accept, and have been living with for the past 12 years but, I suspect that it is the sort of blame that isn't exclusive to just me.
Given the recent up-rise in numbers of people being exonerated as a result of wrongful conviction, or even just the amount of family members forced to experience the behind the scenes inner workings of a particular judicial venue that conducted themselves amiss, it is my belief quite a few will be able to understand and relate to my following disclosure. I am stuck with the blame of, when this all started, not knowing how to obtain a proper lawyer that had the experience needed to protect me, as well as, wasn't going to sabotage and exploit my situation for his own personal financial gain. What this man did to me is criminal in itself.
Now please understand, in sharing this with you, by no means am I claiming that Mr. Neroni is the sole factor that caused my wrongful conviction, but was a major contributing factor that created and allowed the capability for much of the corruption and misconduct that ensued, and still affects my case to this day. My situation started out this way in 2002, you decide if the title I have chosen, Rotten From The Start is appropriate.
At the time of my arrest I was represented by an attorney by the name of Pete McBride. Having never had to hire a criminal attorney, and due to the fact I had just recently concluded some business transactions with Mr. Pete McBride, this was the only attorney I knew.
Scared out of my mind, grief stricken, having not a single clue as to how the criminal system process worked, nor any idea as to the protocol that attorneys followed, I found attorney Pete McBrides's comments, approach, strategy, and mannerism towards me quite troublesome. Hindsight, as a result of my research in preparation for my appeals, I now have a textbook understanding as to why a lawyer may choose a certain strategy, approach, and make certain comments. But nonetheless, at the time I found myself upset and completely confused anytime we spoke.
As a result of me being raised Catholic, at the time, as a result of a particular letter we had found in my wife's briefcase at the time of her death, I was extremely upset with him saying that my Patty had committed suicide. Whatever his reasons or belief, this just didn’t sit well with me. I would learn years later, as explained to me by subsequent legal advocates that, when a persons actions creates their own death, whether intentional or accidental, the cause of death will be deemed suicide and that I shouldn’t focus on the religious interpretation in this situation.
However, at the time, not understanding it in this way, caused me great pain and confusion and distrust for my then attorney. Confusion creates a form of paranoia, I began arguing with him over the fact that he wouldn't explain to me as to why he wasn't filing any pre-trial motions, we argued over the fact that his nephew, this district attorney Mr. Joseph McBride, had claimed that the body had been cremated after they did their second autopsy, but wouldn't be available to us to do an independent autopsy. I blamed Pete McBride for this because my family and I felt that he should have, knowing that they were doing a second autopsy and that the manner of death was now in question, made sure that the body would be available to us and not destroyed, we felt that he had waited too long to advise Joe McBride of this, even though it was only two days that had passed. I blamed Pete McBride and made accusations, he became irate and stormed out of the visiting room, never to return or speak with me again. In the interest of fairness, years later I learned that perhaps I had wrongfully blamed Pete McBride when by mere chance, we obtained a copy of the Certificate of Cremation substantiating that Joseph McBride had lied that the body had already been cremated at the time of our request, and by way of this document showed, that the body would have been available to us, at least for another 8 days.
So here I was, sitting in a jail cell, angry, scared, confused and mourning the loss of my wife. Approximately 2 weeks passed in which Pete McBride never returned to the jail, nor was he available when either my family or I tried to reach him by phone. Under the impression that Pete had quit and was long gone, I asked my mother, father and friend at the time Joyce, to see if they could locate an attorney who handle matters of murder cases, shortly thereafter, Mr. Fredrick J. Neroni appears at the jail.
After sitting in cell scared and confused, Mr. Neroni came across as if he was a savior sent from heaven. The way he spoke, one would think that he could have sold sand to a camel in the desert. He advised me of how lucky I was to have come across him and professed that Mr. McBride and Det. Lloyd were quite intimidated by his courtroom reputation, promising by the time he was done with them, that they would pay for wrongfully accussing me. He advised me of the experts that would need to be retained, as well as what the proposed cost of this defense would be. As stated by him, in order to achieve this defense and go home, I, or my family needed to give him $60,000.00 [sixty thousand dollars].
Feeling severely discouraged, I informed Mr. Neroni that at that time, without being able to possibly sell something off, that I only had approximately $15,000.00 [fifteen thousand dollars]. It was then that I made the most fatal decision of my life, sealing my fate and virtually guaranteeing Mr. McBride a wrongful conviction win. Mr. Neroni offered to take on my case and cover the necessary expenses required for my defense, if I was willing to sign over my free and clear 2 story 4 bedroom ranch on 56 acres as collateral, assuring me that the minute I won trial we would make arrangements to pay him and still own my home. Knowing that I was not guilty of these accusations, feeling trapped without any other option available to me, I agreed to these terms.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had just entered into the worst business decision I could have ever made. At the time it never dawned on me that I had entered into an agreement in which the profits to be had, were greater for Mr. Neroni if I lost, rather than if I won. As it stood, by losing, he had the possibility of doubling his profits at a minimum.
Now knowing Mr. Neroni's history and reasons for being disbarred, things I could have not known at the time, indicative of how this man lacked morals, scruples, ethics and respect for the law while he was in a position of representing himself to me as an officer of the court, someone who was taking my life, trust, and best interest into his hands, there can be no other thought in my mind that it was his intention to defraud me out of my home, no different then him trying to defraud the court in the manner he did. Review it for yourself, there is obvious similarity.
I think anyone would be hard pressed to come up with any other reason as to why an attorney would take a case, yet do nothing of what his training and code of ethics bounded him to do unless this was his plan all along. “Sandbagged”, is only one of the words I could use when describing the job, or defense Mr. Neroni gave me. My reasons are as follows, and anyone with a legal background or understanding could surely relate why this was bad but, I will try to explain it as brief as possible in layman terms.
When a defendant is arrested and accused of a crime, there are certain procedures that occur as a matter of Due Process. One of the reasons these procedures are conducted as a matter of law, is to insure that the defendant's rights under our constitution are being safeguarded from being falsely accused. As part of the process, a lawyer will file what is called an Omnibus motion and demand Pre-trial hearings to determine the merits of certain key factors. In preparing a motion such as this, the lawyer should be aware of the facts regarding the case and carefully craft specific demands of the prosecution. The demands include, but not limited to, certain things such as, validity of search warrants, or to ascertain whether police exceeded the scope of a warrant. Exceeding the scope of a search warrant is when the police do not follow the court's instructions and search areas, or take items not authorized by the warrant itself. This did occur in my situation.
Other functions of this particular motion is to get a court's ruling on key factors of what a prosecutor will be allowed to bring into trial, or what he will be allowed to speak on. Without these rulings, a prosecutor will do as he pleases without any regards for the defendant or their rights.
In my case, Mr. Neroni filed a boiler plate Omnibus motion, nothing within this motion was specific to my situation or case. I was given a hearing only as a matter of Due Process, not as a result of any motion and the hearing I was given resembled nothing of what a proper hearing is. So improper, Mr. Neroni never asked for a review of the search warrants, or what was seized, never seeked a ruling regarding certain prosecution witnesses, and or their reports. So lacking was he, Mr. Neroni never once asked for a Bill of Particulars from the prosecution.
Without a Bill of Particulars to specify the manner in which the murder was alleged to have occurred, Mr. McBride was able to keep flip flopping his theories throughout the trial, while the Judge could only assume that what was being presented to the jury, was the same theory that had been presented at the Grand Jury. This is not proper but, Mr. McBride will do it until someone calls him on it. This by no means is an exhausted list of Mr. Neroni's deficiencies at this stage of the process, but in summing up what my hearing consisted of, it was nothing more then Mr. Neroni placing me on the stand, eliciting testimony that was not only prejudicial and irrelevant but while failing to address the issue of the fact presented, completely exceeded the scope of the hearing. Throughout the entire cross examination, Mr. Neroni did not make a single objection while Mr. McBride asked clearly improper and prejudicial questions. Mr. McBride was enjoying this free reign that Mr. Neroni gave him that. Mr. McBride went on to ask a plethora of other questions that had nothing more then a prejudicial effect on the judge, while not relevant to anything. This was further compounded when Mr. Neroni, for reasons only known to him, put my friend at the time Joyce, on the stand not to give testimony regarding anything credible but, rather had her testify to matters wholly outside the scope of the hearing.
For seven months I sat in the county jail, not once did Mr. Neroni visit me to discuss my case, or prepare for trial. Not once did he accept a single phone call from me. Mr. Neroni did not reach out for a single expert in preparation for my trial, even after being advised of Dr. Sikirica, by my family, to the fact of his willingness to be involved in my case. In fact, the only expert to be involved in my case was hired by my family, above and beyond the fact that Mr. Neroni was to cover expenses resulting from taking my home as collateral. And even after my family securing this expert, he was denied by the court as a result of Mr. Neroni failing to advise the court of particulars regarding this expert.
The list is far from exhausted, but in moving on, one final example of this scandal can be seen by a simple review of the minutes themselves. Throughout the course of this three week trial, the prosecutor, Mr. McBride, objected approximately 787 times with a slightly over 75 percent success rate, where during the very same trial, Mr. Neroni only objected a total of 58 times with about 55 percent of those objections meeting with failure. I, the defendant, took the stand for three days, and not once did Mr. Neroni voice a single objection to anything that Mr. McBride did improper. Anyone that has ever had any experience with the legal system, anyone that has ever watched TV can tell you, it is unheard of for the defendant to be on the stand for three days and not have their lawyer object to a single thing. Now can you understand why I have titled this missive, ROTTEN FROM THE START?
I have motion the court several times on this issue but, no matter who the judge, they refuse to review my claims, or re-open my original hearings, always claiming that, once the original hearings were granted to Attorney Neroni, they do not have to re-open, or grant me a new hearing. However I submit, if they were to review the original hearing, it would become evident to them that Mr. Neroni didn't represent me, hence it was as if I didn't receive any hearing at all.
This is one of the major contributing factors that allows Mr. McBride to hold onto this wrongful conviction. Mr. McBride knows that if the misconduct that occurred was exposed, he would no longer be able to cite to evidence that is not only improper, but not evidence at all. Being the principle architect, Mr. McBride has far too much invested in this wrongful conviction. This is why he opposes any review or investigation of my claim that police created inculpatory evidence, altered evidence, tampered with evidence, allowed evidence to be stolen. Without exposing this, this is why Mr. McBride has been so successful maintaining this charade that has allowed him to present me to many as a murderer and a monster. I ask for your help and suggestions as to how I might be able to finally get someone to review this, and get me the proper hearings I was denied. If not on the merit that I am correct in my belief that Mr. Neroni had a hidden agenda when taking my case, then in the interest of justice.
Peter M. Wlasiuk
|Posted by [email protected] on January 29, 2014 at 2:25 PM||comments (0)|
Heads in Sand written by Peter Wlasiuk
|Posted by [email protected] on January 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM||comments (0)|
Written By Tim Richards. (Thank you Tim for all your hard work and for taking the time to read the entire case and for taking the time to write this . We appreciate you so much. What Tim has written is the tip of the iceberg. Tim summarised the case to make it easier for people to understand. We appreciate this so much. There is so much more in this case, which would take so much time to explain. Please if you have any questions just ask us. To find out more read the exhibits and documents.)
The death of Patty Wlasiuk over a decade ago should be a relatively simple story of a tragic accident but it has become more than that as it became the story of a miscarriage of justice which does not reflect well on the American criminal justice system. Peter Wlasiuk her husband has been tried three times for killing her and remains in prison today, convicted of the murder that never was.
Patty, an alcoholic who had been caught driving while intoxicated 4 times, lived in Guilford, Chenango County in New York state and worked as a nurse in a local hospital. On April 2nd 2002, Peter drove their 3 daughters to stay with their babysitter, Joyce Worden, while Patty borrowed her car to go to work for her afternoon to evening shift. Peter then drove his truck to work at the Angel Inn, a bar he owned nearby, but as it was a Tuesday night business there was slow, so he went home early at 10.30pm to relax while waiting for Patty to pick up the children and bring them home at 11.30pm. When Joyce Worden rang him at 11.40pm to ask where Patty was Peter said that maybe she had got caught up in work and to wait a while longer, which she did. But when Patty had still not turned up by 12.15am Joyce phoned again and Peter suggested that she gives her a few more minutes. About 5 minutes later Worden had a phone call from Peter saying that Patty had just come in and as the kids weren’t with her they would come right over to pick up the children. When questioned about the call later she said that she could hear the couple arguing about her not picking up the children.
Patty then heads out the door to go to pick up the children and Peter gets in the passenger seat for the trip. On the way the argument intensifies and Patty rolls down the window as she is smoking. But when she flicks ash out of the window some hot ash blows into the back seat area of the truck so Patty pulls over and stops then leans over to put it out. At that point Peter smells alcohol on her breath and the argument gets worse with him shouting at her to turn round and go home as they are not going to pick up the children when she has been drinking. At that point she stops, turns left into a drive to turn round but as Patty has become really mad instead of backing up she hits the gas and sends the truck hurtling down an embankment , hitting a clothes line post before shooting into the lake in front. Peter tries to get out of the passenger door but without success so seeing the driver’s side window open and Patty frozen behind the wheel he climbs over her and gets out trying to pull Patty with him but, overcome by the force of the water he loses his grip on her as he struggle to the surface and swims to the shore and shouts Patty’s name several times before rushing round the houses to get help. When he does find someone he asks them to phone 9-1-1 to tell them and then goes back to the lake with two men from the house to look for Patty.
The truck is visible by its lights below the surface 60ft away and the two men enter the lake to try to find Patty but without success. By this time the first police cars arrive and Peter, who is described by witnesses as soaking wet, cold and incoherent, is placed in the back of one of the patrol cars and the heat is turned up full blast until ambulances arrive. Patty was declared dead at 1.20am but Peter was not told that until 2.20am when the hospital asked him to sign off her organs for donation.
Meanwhile, the police evidence team are at the scene taking photos and measurements while Peter’s truck is taken out of the lake, all of this in the dark, and towed to a local garage where the Deputies conduct an incomplete inventory, taking no photographs of it. In fact, the police investigation from this point on is a strange tale of what first looks like incompetence but then becomes something so full of inconsistencies that it is seriously suspicious. You don’t have to be an expert to ask a lot of questions about what the police say they did.
Later that night, one of the Troopers, Jamie Bell, dives down to the truck and finds a flashlight and places it in the bed of the truck and then finds Patty’s coat but apparently drops it where it was instead of putting it with the flashlight in the truck. This is particularly strange when you realise that the police intend to winch the truck out over it. If you find THAT a bit strange then you will begin to ask some serious questions when you discover that the police claim that they did not go back and get the coat until 4 days later.
Later that morning ,Dr. James Terzian carries out an autopsy and concludes that Patty died from drowning but takes no sample of the water in her lungs, something else which becomes of importance later when the police carry out a search warrant of Patty and Peter’s property and take a sample of the water in the kiddie’s paddling pool though they take no sample of the water in the lake where Patty drowned. You might well wonder why they concentrated on that water in their search warrant but there are a couple strange points about this search warrant. The original warrant was for the “real property” at the house but later there was a hand-written amendment changing it to the “Outside refuse disposal area”. This is odd too, as until the police went there to carry out the search, how were they to know this area existed unless, of course someone had already been there.
In fact, the police appear to have been remarkably prescient about a number of issues in the investigation as when they went to look for a place where Patty could have bought alcohol despite the fact that there several nearby they actually went straight to the specific local convenience store where she had bought it.
They did not officially search Joyce’s car until 2 days after Patty’s death which is unlikely as by then Peter and Joyce’s son had taken Joyce’s car back to her house before that happened.
Of course, there is an explanation of all these strange oversights by experienced police officers - that they did not actually happen.
Let us take Patty’s coat. The police story about this coat is riddled with contradictions. Firstly, we are supposed to believe that it was found but not retrieved at the start of the investigation, when Trooper Bell leaves it behind in the water. When the diver, Urnaitis, retrieves the coat 4 days later he says that the only thing he finds in the pockets is Patty’s driving licence, which he photographs. Unfortunately he finds it 7ft away from the truck where Bell found it originally and when the jacket is sent to the New York State Police Laboratory 3 months later, hey presto, they find over 50 other items in the jacket. When, in the second trial, Lloyd is asked why he had not found all these items, he claimed that they don’t make a habit of going through people’s pockets, a statement which is described by the trial judge as the most bizarre statement he had ever heard.
So what is going on here? The police have obviously got an agenda in this investigation that they believed Peter had killed Patty at their home before driving the truck to the lake where he backed it up a drive across the road before letting the handbrake off and letting it run down into the lake to make it look like she was drowned in an accident. Their problem was that the evidence did not support that theory. It was rather a convoluted theory too as they decided to argue that Peter had killed her in a struggle outside the house and that he had smothered her by a burdock bush near the pool and dragged her body to the truck and put in the back before driving to the lake. Not only was there no signs of any struggle there, no mud or grass stains on her clothing and no marks on the ground where she had supposedly been dragged which was also strange as the ground was soggy.
The key to their story was that her jacket had loads of burdocks both inside and out and that there were none at the lakeside, so she must have been killed by being smothered at their home. To make out this story they got a biologist, Dr.Julian Shepherd, to testify that he had searched the shoreline for 100yds but had not found a burdock bush but since he had not actually examined any foliage it has to be wondered how useful this testimony was. In the last trial he was shown a photograph of the lake shore, taken the day before he went there, which clearly shows broken branches but he said he not recall seeing them there. In fact, a search by the defense investigators of the lake shore a few years later revealed that there were burdock bushes growing in the area where the truck went in to the lake. But, Det. Sgt. James Lloyd had previously testified that he had walked the entire perimeter of the lake and observed no burdock bushes. Actually Lloyd’s behaviour is strange throughout. As the lead investigator in Chenango police it is strange that he does not turn up at the lakeside when the accident is first reported as he was bound to have been called straight away at 1.00am. Lloyd, it has to be said, was a man with an agenda of his own – to prove that Peter had killed Patty. Why? Because he had clashed with Peter in the past, suspecting him of being involved in stealing money from a man he had done a business deal with, but was unable to arrest Peter for it and had threatened to get him some day.
So when he gets a call in the middle of the night about Peter and Patty’s accident would he have just left it until the morning? This is highly unlikely and the suspicion is that instead of going to the lakeside he took the opportunity to go to their residence and look around. It would certainly explain some rather strange events, such as knowing which convenience store to go to as he would have been able to look in Joyce Worden’s car and find a receipt for the alcohol. This would also explain why the search of the car did not officially take place until 2 days later and the search warrant was altered to “outside refuse disposal area”.
He would also have been able to look round their house and read Patty’s diaries. Why else would he ask Peter questions during his interview about whether Patty was suicidal and whether he had been having an affair with Joyce Worden as this was before he had supposedly read Patty’s diaries, well before he had seized them in a search warrant?
The police’s obsession with their burdock bush theory makes strange things happen to the evidence too as the burdock branch, according to police photographs, has 2 hairs on it, but when it is later put into evidence it magically becomes 18 hairs. When Dr. Terzian carries out his second autopsy he is supplied with the hairs from the burdock bush he decides to change his opinion that Patty died from drowning to death by smothering, despite the fact that there is no medical evidence to support this. In fact a more experienced forensic pathologist used by the defense, Dr. Michael Skirica concluded that all the evidence supported the drowning conclusion.
But such was the importance of the burdocks they attached to the burdocks that David Beers, an experienced investigator used by the defense, thinks that the police decided that Patty’s jacket needed an abundance of burdocks. He is an ex-police officer who believes that they destroyed the photos and evidence log that they already had it, filled it with burdocks, put Patty’s drivers licence back in it, took it back to the lake and threw it back in (without taking sufficient care that it would be found where it should have been) so that the diver Urnaitis could find it again. He is convinced that in this case the strange changes in the evidence that occurred can only be explained by police misconduct and became so convinced of it that he wrote a letter to the NY State Attorney General’s office in 2011 and was interviewed by two investigators from there. He provided them with information, documentation and photographs and compiled more information and sent it to them afterwards but has heard nothing from them since.
Given the distorted evidence presented to the juries it is understandable that Peter Wlasiuk was convicted but he has been let down by more than just the police and authorities. In the first trial he had a clearly incompetent attorney Frederick Neroni who, amongst other things, failed to call Dr.Skirica to testify that Patty drowned. He has since been disbarred. So bad were the failings of both the prosecution and defense that a retrial was ordered in 2008. But, the second trial was held in the same court so that the jury know that Peter has been found guilty. Despite the obvious need for a change in venue the judge denied the application without even bothering to explain why. This is quite simply a disgrace. A judge making such a blatantly poor decision without giving a reason is sloppy and does not reflect well on the American justice system.
Once again, Peter’s defense attorney failed to do his job properly and, not surprisingly, the jury decided again that Peter was guilty but after an appeal he was granted another retrial and despite the fact that he had been tried twice and found guilty in the same court the application for a change of venue in the third trail was again denied without any reason being given by the judge. Decisions like this reduced the trial to a farce, or tragedy. Despite this the jury were seriously disturbed by problems in the prosecution case and were close to a not guilty verdict until they made a mistake in interpreting evidence that showed that the court had not done its job properly in allowing them to see a document about Patty’s diaries which was very misleading, so they were swayed by something that the court should not have allowed them to misinterpret.
Peter was convicted in the third trial based on a totally circumstantial case without one single piece of evidence linking him directly to Patty’s death. The saga of Peter’s trials reveals that the justice system that tried him is not up to the job. Only a completely new retrial, with a competent defense, in a court well away from Chenango County, and a jury that is able to look at the evidence afresh can come up with the right verdict - that Peter is not guilty of a murder that never actually happened.
|Posted by [email protected] on December 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
The tragic death of a South Carolina 10-year-old more than an hour after he had gone swimming has focused a spotlight on the little-known phenomenon called “dry drowning” — and warning signs that every parent should be aware of.
“I’ve never known a child could walk around, talk, speak and their lungs be filled with water,” Cassandra Jackson told NBC News in a story broadcast Thursday on TODAY.
On Sunday, Jackson had taken her son, Johnny, to a pool near their home in Goose Creek, S.C. It was the first time he’d ever gone swimming — and, tragically, it would be his last.
At some point during his swim, Johnny got some water in his lungs. He didn’t show any immediate signs of respiratory distress, but the boy had an accident in the pool and soiled himself. Still, Johnny, his sister and their mother walked home together.
“We physically walked home. He walked with me,” Jackson said, still trying to understand how her son could have died. “I bathed him, and he told me that he was sleepy.”
Later, she went into his room to check on him. “I walked over to the bed, and his face was literally covered with this spongy white material,” she said. “And I screamed.”
A family friend, Christine Meekins, was visiting and went to see what was wrong. “I pulled his arm and said, ‘Johnny! Johnny!’ ” Meekins told NBC. “There was no response. I opened one of his eyes and I just knew inside my heart that it was something really bad.”
Johnny was rushed to a local hospital, but it was too late. Johnny had drowned, long after he got out of the swimming pool.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, some 3,600 people drowned in 2005, the most recent year for which there are statistics. Some 10 to 15 percent of those deaths was classified as “dry drowning,” which can occur up to 24 hours after a small amount of water gets into the lungs. In children, that can happen during a bath.
Dr. Daniel Rauch, a pediatrician from New York University Langone Medical Center, told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira that there are warning signs that every parent should be aware of. Johnny Jackson exhibited some of them, but unless a parent knows what to look for, they are easily overlooked or misinterpreted.
The three important signs, he said, are difficulty breathing, extreme tiredness and changes in behavior. All are the result of reduced oxygen flow to the brain.
Johnny had two of those signs — he was very tired when he got home, and he had had the accident in the pool. But like most parents, Cassandra Jackson had no idea this could be related to water in his lungs.
Rauch said that the phenomenon of dry drowning is not completely understood. But medical researchers say that in some people, a small amount of inhaled water can have a delayed-reaction effect.
“It can take a while for the process to occur and to set in and cause difficulties,” Rauch said. “Because it is a lung process, difficulty breathing is the first sign that you would be worried about.”
The second sign is extreme fatigue, which isn’t always easy to spot. “It’s very difficult to tell when your child is abnormally tired versus normal tired after a hot day and running around in the pool,” Rauch said. “The job of the lungs is to get oxygen into the blood and your brain needs oxygen to keep working, so when your brain isn’t getting oxygen, it can start doing funny things. One of them is becoming excessively tired, losing consciousness and the inability to be aroused appropriately.”
Finally, there are changes in behavior, Rauch said — another tough call when dealing with very small children, whose moods and behavior can change from one minute to the next.
“Another response of the brain to not getting oxygen is to do different things,” Rauch explained, saying parents should be concerned “if your child’s abnormally cranky, abnormally combative — any dramatic change from their normal pattern.”
He admitted, “It is very difficult to pick this up sometimes.” But spotting the warning signs and getting a suspected victim to an emergency room can save a life, he added.
Victims of dry drowning are treated by having a breathing tube inserted so that oxygen can be supplied under pressure to the lungs. “Then we just wait for the lung to heal itself,” he said.
But for Cassandra Jackson, it’s knowledge gained too late. She and Meekins sat in her home, looking at pictures of the bright and happy son who was no more.
“He was very loving, full of life,” the grieving mother said. “That was my little man.”