Attorneys for Hugo Selenski, convicted for two deaths by strangulation, are trying to persuade a jury to spare his life as his trial resumes Wednesday morning.
The northeastern Pennsylvania man’s relatives are testifying today at the penalty phase of his capital murder trial. They call him both a good father and brother even behind bars.
Prosecutors say that 41-year-old Selenski and another man strangled Michael Kerkowski and Tammy Fassett with plastic ties during a robbery in 2002. Police found their bodies, along with at least three other sets of human remains in Selenski’s yard in 2003.
— Michael Erat (@MichaelErat) February 18, 2015
The jury convicted Selenski on two counts of first-degree murder. Pennsylvania’s governor recently declared a moratorium on the death penalty, but the law remains on the books and prosecutors want jurors to send him to death row, the Miami Herald reported.
“He is a wolf dressed as a sheep, and they are the most dangerous kind,” Assistant District Attorney Jarrett Ferentino told jurors during the first day of the penalty phase of Selenski’s double murder trial.
Ferentino told the jury that Hugo Selenski’s life hangs in the balance because of the choices he made, and that the aggravating factors are present to warrant death.
The murders of Kerkowski and his girlfriend Fassett were not a result of a “clumsy” improvisation” but rather a calculated attempt by Selenski and his accomplice Paul Weakley, 45, to torture Kerkowski to extract information about where he had hidden drug money, Ferentino added.
The two men gathered flex ties, wire cutters and duct tape and used a rolling pin to beat Kerkowski before strangling him with flex ties, he said.
“Michael Kerkowski was the victim of a progressive and cruel killing. He was beaten. He was blinded. He was bound. He was interrogated,”
Ferentino said. “Money took precedent over life.”
Will Hugo Selenski Get The Death Penalty In Strangulation Murders?