WILKES-BARRE -- A jury has found Hugo Selenski guilty of first degree murder.
The verdict was read just before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday after the jury deliberated for nearly two days.
The jury found Selenski guilty on all charges except conspiracy to commit robbery on Fassett and solicitation for murder on Kerkowski.
Prosecutors charged Hugo Selenski with two counts of first degree murder, saying Selenski killed Michael Kerkowski and Tammy Fassett in 2002. Their bodies were found buried in Selenski’s Kingston Township home a year later. Prosecutors say Kerkowski had money, and Selenski wanted it. Fassett happened to be there when Selenski came looking for it.
The charges against Selenski include:
- 2 counts of criminal homicide
- 2 counts of criminal conspiracy to commit criminal homicide
- 1 count of criminal solicitation to commit criminal homicide
- 2 counts of robbery
- 2 counts of criminal conspiracy to commit robbery
- 1 count of theft
For 14 days of trial, jurors heard different stories about what exactly happened to Kerkowski and Fassett. In all, 30 witnesses testified for the prosecution.
The defense took only a few days, trying to poke holes in the case, trying to show key witnesses against Selenski had reason to lie. Selenski did not testify in his own defense.
Now, the jury has made their collective voice clear, Hugo Selenski is responsible for their deaths. Throughout the course of deliberations, the jury had multiple questions for the judge dealing with those crucial counts. Their first question asked for the difference between first and second degree murder. About a little more than an hour later, the jurors summoned the judge again with a question about can there be more than one person responsible for first degree murder.
The next step in this process will be the penalty phase, where the jury must decide whether Hugo Selenski will spend the rest of his life in prison or face the death penalty. That phase is scheduled to begin on Tuesday morning.
Selenski is already serving a 32 to 65 year sentence for a violent home invasion and robbery in Monroe County.