- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - The long-delayed case of a notorious bank robber charged with killing a drug-dealing pharmacist and the pharmacist’s girlfriend was again postponed Monday as a judge instead ruled on witness-related issues.

The victim’s bodies were found more than a decade ago in Hugo Selenski’s backyard in northeastern Pennsylvania. His capital trial was scheduled to start in Wilkes-Barre, but Luzerne County Judge Fred Pierantoni instead sent prospective jurors home and told them to return Wednesday.

Selenski, who served nearly seven years in federal prison for a 1994 bank robbery, has been charged in the deaths of Michael Kerkowski and Tammy Fassett, whose corpses were found in 2003.

On Monday, the judge decided that prosecutors can use testimony from a witness who recently died. Defense lawyers objected because they would not be able to cross-examine him, but the judge said Selenski’s previous attorneys could have done so.

The judge also had been expected to rule on the admissibility of statements from a co-defendant, but that request was withdrawn.

Selenski is already serving 32 1/2 to 65 years in state prison for a 2003 home invasion in the Poconos, where prosecutors say he and the co-defendant bound their victim with duct tape and plastic flex ties in an attempt to steal thousands of dollars in cash.

The state Supreme Court in September ordered a lower court to reconsider whether Selenski’s lawyer in that case should have been allowed to call an expert witness casting doubt on the recollection of an eyewitness.

In 2006, a jury acquitted Selenski in the shotgun deaths of two other people found buried in his Kingston Township yard but found that he had abused their corpses by burning them in a pit.

Selenski, whose family made T-shirts comparing one of his trials to a boxing rematch, pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges related to his escape from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on a rope of bed sheets. He had remained at large for three days in October 2003 as his attorney and law enforcement officials pleaded on television for him to turn himself in.

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