Jury Selection begins for Wlasiuk Trial

By WBNG News

June 4, 2012 Updated Jun 4, 2012 at 6:12 PM EDT

Norwich, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) A man accused of killing his wife back in 2002 returns to Chenango County Court for a third trial.

Peter Wlasiuk of Oxford was convicted of 2nd- Degree murder twice before, but both verdicts were thrown out on appeal for different reasons.

Judge Joseph Cawley requested three days for selection, summoning 125 people for each day.

About 90 of them were in court this morning, and after the early sorting process. Only about 30 people were asked to return this afternoon.

Peter Wlasiuk was already involved in two very public trials.

This is the third time he is answering to accusations of killing his wife, Patricia.

Her body was recovered from Guilford Lake in 2002.

The prosecution claims that he suffocated her and staged an accident.

One issue with trying the case for a third time is making sure the jurors have not already formed an opinion on the case.

But the Commissioner of Jurors tells Action News that both sides will have multiple chances to question the potential jurors.

"The District Attorney will have the opportunity to voir dire, which is the selection and discussion process, of those individuals and then they make a decision. If they would like to have any of those individuals excused then they can ask that they be excused," said Mary Weidman, Commissioner of the Jurors.

"I think that many people are aware of it through the media or word of mouth and it may cloud the vision of people who are potentially going to be on the jury," adds Weidman.

In court the Judge made a strong point to explain to the potential jurors that they must be able to form their opinion on what goes on in the court room only.

When the Judge asked if anyone in the room would have a problem doing this, no one raised a hand.

The trial will begin as soon as the 14 jurors are selected, 12 for the panel and two alternates.

Then, the Commissioner of Jurors says the trial is expected to last about three weeks.