Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hugo Selenski Timeline

From the Citizens Voice:


April 20: Pharmacist Michael Jason Kerkowski is charged with selling drugs without a prescription at the Medicine Shoppe on Route 29, Eaton Township, Wyoming County.

June 28: Kerkowski is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a customer's poisoning death. Joseph James Mekuta of Scranton died after taking an anti-depressant

Dec. 17: Kerkowski pleads guilty to two felony counts each of distributing a controlled substance and insurance fraud.


Jan. 9: Kerkowski’s license is suspended by the state.

Jan. 19: He withdraws his pleas.
Jan. 21: He is arrested for practicing without a license.

Feb. 28: A Wyoming County jury takes only 35 minutes to find the pharmacist guilty of selling painkillers without a prescription.

April 25: Kerkowski pleads no contest to several felony charges involving the illegal sale of painkilling prescription drugs and insurance fraud. Charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Mekuta’s death are again dismissed.

May 14: Kerkowski misses his sentencing hearing and is considered a fugitive from justice. Also missing is his girlfriend, Tammy Lynn Fassett.


June 5: Two bodies are found in a shallow grave on the Kingston Township, Luzerne County, property where Hugo Marcus Selenski lives. Selenski is arrested on charges of robbery, aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person, stemming from an incident in fall 2002 during which he allegedly robbed Kerkowski’s father of $40,000.

June 8: Investigators confirm the bodies are those of Kerkowski and Fassett.

June 9: Officials unearth more human remains at the site.

July 3: Selenski is ordered to stand trial on robbery and aggravated assault charges.

July 31: Luzerne County District Attorney David Lupas officially indicates Selenski is a suspect in the murders of five people whose remains were found on the Kingston Township property.

Sept. 17: Investigators confirm the identity of two more sets of remains discovered on Selenski’s property. They are Frank James, 29, of New York City and Adeiye Ossasis Keiler, 23, of Kingston. An informant claims that Selenski killed both men, alleged drug dealers, on May 14.

Oct. 6: Selenski is charged with two counts of homicide, criminal conspiracy, robbery and the abuse of a corpse in the deaths of James and Keiler.

Oct. 10: Selenski escapes from the maximum security ward of the Luzerne County Correctional Facility at about 9:40 p.m. Using bedsheets, he climbs down seven stories and then uses a mattress to scale a razor-wire fence.

Oct. 13: Selenski surrenders to state police at 8:40 p.m. at his Kingston Township home. He is taken to the State Correctional Institution at Dallas where he is held in a restricted housing unit.

Nov. 18: District Justice James Tupper rules Selenski will stand trial on two counts each of criminal homicide, robbery and abuse of corpse, and a single count of criminal conspiracy. During the preliminary hearing, Patrick Raymond Russin testifies that Selenski brought Keiler and James to the Mount Olivet Road home in May to "feel them out" as possible robbery targets and then decided to kill them midway through the evening. He said he saw Selenski, 30, shoot both men around 1 a.m.

May 14 and Keiler inside the house several hours later. Russin said the bodies were dragged to a pit on the property and set on fire.


Feb. 5: The Luzerne County district attorney’s office announces it will seek the death penalty against Selenski.

Feb. 6: Selenski's aunt, Catherine Marie Falzone, and her 17-year-old son are charged with hindering apprehension for hiding Selenski in her home the day after his escape.

Feb. 9: A heavily restrained Selenski pleads not guilty to murder charges.

March 12: The estranged wife of Kerkowski is arrested on a federal weapons charge for disposing firearms to known drug addicts or drug users. She later pleads guilty.

June 6: Selenski tells The Citizens’ Voice in an exclusive interview, "I’m not claiming I wasn't involved, but there are other people more involved."

June 9: Federal investigators charge Selenski's younger brother, Ronald Selenski Jr., with providing the accused killer with two shotguns, including the weapon used in two slayings.


Dec. 22: The state Superior Court upholds Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr.'s earlier ruling that jurors will not hear an alleged incriminating statement made by Selenski that five bodies would be found on his property.


Jan. 24: Christina Strom pleads guilty to helping Selenski launder thousands of dollars he allegedly got through drug dealing, robbery and murder.She agrees to cooperate with authorities in the investigation and admits in federal court that she was aware money used to purchase her Kingston Township home came from murders and other criminal activity.

Feb. 10: Olszewski rules that Selenski can be held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility — from which he once escaped — during his trial.

Feb. 15: Olszewski rules Selenski can"t be prosecuted for his escape, stating that prosecutors waited too long to merge the separate homicide and escape charges for trial.