Updated 06/07/2012 08:40 PM
Seven witnesses take stand in Wlasiuk trial
The third murder trial of Peter Wlasiuk is underway. The 42-year-old Oxford man is accused of killing his wife, Patricia, back in 2002. He was convicted in the previous two cases, but both times, the convictions were thrown out. Our Melissa Kakareka was in court Thursday as opening statements and witness testimony began.
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CHENANGO COUNTY, N.Y. -- Jurors were presented with their first pieces of evidence in a ten year old murder case Thursday as Peter Wlasiuk goes on trial for the third time since 2002.
During opening statements, the prosecution told the jury that Wlasiuk killed his wife, Patty, at their home on the night of April 2, 2002, then staged an accident to make it look as though she had crashed her car in Guilford Lake and drowned.
The District Attorney says Wlasiuk has changed his account of the evening several times. The DA also claims Wlasiuk was angry with his wife and also stood to benefit from a life insurance policy.
Meanwhile, Wlasiuk's attorney Mark Loughran says there is no evidence that a violent struggle occurred at the Wlasiuks' home and says the woman's cause of death was an accidental drowning.
A total of seven witnesses took the stand on Thursday, including Patty's mother and sister, who both claimed Peter was controlling.
There were also several witnesses who saw both Peter and Patty on the night of her death. One employee from the business Wlasiuk owned testified that the couple had two heated arguments on the phone on the night of Patty's death. The jury also heard a 911 call made from a witness who tried to help Peter at the scene of the incident.
More witnesses will be called to the stand on Friday.