The formerly convicted wife murderer Peter Wlasiuk was given his innocence back to him by the 3rd division of the NYS Supreme Appellate court. Wlasiuk appeared in Chenango court earlier today followed by an entourage of tension. The small family court room was probably as full as it could get; a few of the victim’s relatives had to stand. The court room’s small dimensions ensured that both accused murderer Wlasiuk and the grieved family of his alleged victim would be in very close proximity. Wlasiuk seemed eager to appear in court.
Three Sheriff’s deputies walked Wlasiuk to the defense table – counting the regular bailiff as part of compliment, there was now a total of four armed guards in the court room and one outside the door watching the front desk. First impression made me feel he was quite the dangerous man, but after a moment I realized they were not just to protect us from him, but to protect Wlasiuk from a growing local animosity. Grieved family members both angry and depressed sat apprehensive in the front row or stood a few feet behind the defendant, nothing between them except four feet of air, a small wooden divide about three feet high and four vigilant sheriff’s deputies and their four nine millimeter pistols.
Wlasiuk briefly engaged the family, apparently he glanced or stared over in the direction of the family. “Stop looking at me and turn back around,” commanded a grieving family member. Wlasiuk promptly turned around and interrupted his attorney and asked the judge to remove the man who made the comment. Judge Sullivan struggled to keep the proceedings fluid; his first issue to bear was removing himself from the case. He adjourned the matter to consider. The family filed out and Wlasiuk argued with his attorney, saying, “I don’t even know what just happened.” They bickered a moment and he and his attorney retired to a private room and held further what appeared to be agitating conversation. This was a bail hearing, but none was addressed because of the request to remove Judge Sullivan. I have a feeling no matter who presides, prosecutes or defends, we will get quite the show from Wlasiuk and the circus which will undoubtedly surround him, and I must admit I will be a small part.