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May 18, 2016
By Hilde Kate Lysiak
The Snyder County District Attorney’s Office made the right decision to charge Kenneth Wochley with murder, according to an outside legal expert contacted by the Orange Street News.
The OSN asked former Assistant District Attorney Adam Foss, who founded Prosecutor Integrity, a group trying to reform the justice system, to review the public files after friends of Wochley told the OSN that he had become to sick too know the difference between right and wrong after suffering a bad stroke one week before the April 2nd tragedy that seriously changed his personality.
“There is definitely plenty to charge this man with murder,” Foss told the OSN after reviewing the files.
On April 25 Wochley was charged with criminal homicide which means the government believes he “intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently caused the death of Anne Wochley.”
A medical expert interviewed by the OSN supported the idea that it is possible that a stroke can change a non-violent person into a violent person depending on where the stroke happened.
“It depends on the part of the brain. If the stroke effected the front part of the brain it can definitely change behavior and that kind of thing can definitely happen,” Dr. Mahmood Nasir, a neurology specialist in Sunbury told the Orange Street News.
Friends of Wochley could not tell the OSN which part of the brain the stroke happened.
When the Orange Street News contacted Snyder County Assistant District Attorney Mike Piecuch to ask what evidence they had that Wochley was healthy enough to know the difference between right and wrong, Piecuch told the OSN that “affidavit contains the evidence justifying the arrest.”
But a copy of the affidavit obtained by the OSN shows only that Kenneth Wochley was sitting on a chair “breathing but unconscious.”
It also says that “police have been unable to interview the suspect as of the writing of this complaint.”
However, Foss told the Orange Street News that being charged with murder only gives the government’s side of the story.
“Charging only requires probable cause, which means if you look at the facts in the most favorable light to the police, could a reasonable jury find him guilty?” Foss explained.
“It’s not a question of whether or not he will actually be found guilty; just whether or not he could be. And while I’m sure you have spotted many defenses the guy has and some holes in the case, I think a jury could find him guilty of murder if you looked at everything in favor to the prosecution,” Foss added.
Wochley and his wife Anne, were known as a happy, loving couple. Kenneth Wochley had a great reputation and was respected by many with no past record of violence.
“Everyone knows he was to sick to know the difference between right and wrong,” a friend told the Orange Street News. “He was a great man and this is just a sad, sad, tragedy.”
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