WILKES-BARRE, Pennsylvania — A co-defendant of a man charged in the murder of two people found buried on his property a decade ago is backing out of testifying against him, according to a letter sent to a newspaper.
The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice (http://bit.ly/1cyoFQQ ) reported Thursday that it had received a letter purportedly from Paul Weakley, 44, who is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Arizona after pleading guilty to a racketeering conspiracy count related to the case against 40-year-old Hugo Selenski.
The letter, which called reports that Weakley would testify at Selenski's upcoming trial untrue, said, "I am not testifying." It arrived on the same day that sentencing was postponed for a man accused of having plotted to kill Weakley.
Prosecutors and Weakley's attorney declined to comment, citing a gag order in Selenski's case.
Weakley sued the federal Bureau of Prisons, saying he has been attacked three times by people who saw him as an informant. Prosecutors cited the attacks in a court filing last summer in which they asked the courts to speed up the appeals process in Selenski's case.
Michael Scerbo, 40, pleaded guilty in January to solicitation to commit homicide after authorities alleged that he offered $1,000 to an undercover state trooper to kill Weakley. Prosecutors said he met both Weakley and later Selenski while in a state prison in 2011. Scerbo is now scheduled to be sentenced in February.
Selenski is scheduled to go on trial in March in the May 2002 strangulation deaths of Michael Kerkowski and Tammy Fassett, both 38, whose bodies were among a number of sets of human remains found on his rural property outside Wilkes-Barre in 2003.
Selenski is already serving 32½ to 65 years in a Monroe County home invasion and could face the death penalty in the upcoming trial. Weakley testified in a 2006 trial in which Selenski was acquitted of the murders of two other people found on the property but was convicted of abuse of a corpse.