AP NEWS

Man Accused Of Strangling Elderly Neighbor Headed To County Court

September 16, 2016 GMT

WILKES-BARRE — A district judge on Friday ruled there was enough evidence against a Wilkes-Barre man accused of killing an elderly neighbor to bound a first-degree homicide charge over to county court.

Robert J. Czerpak, 44, of 57 W. Hollenback Ave., is facing one count of criminal homicide, as well as counts of theft and receiving stolen property. Magisterial District Judge Thomas Malloy bound all charges to the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas following more than two hours of testimony during Friday’s preliminary hearing.

Czerpak remains jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility without bail.

Wilkes-Barre police, in a criminal complaint, allege that Czerpak strangled and killed Eileen Riley, 77, who lived at 50 W. Hollenback Ave. in the city’s North End, on Aug. 4.

Czerpak also burglarized the home, cut the telephone line and stole Riley’s car, authorities testified.

Czerpak said Riley died from a fall down a flight of stairs, according to the complaint.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross ruled Riley’s cause of death was asphyxiation due to strangling. Ross also determined that Riley’s injuries were not consistent with falling down the stairs, the complaint states.

jseibel@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2110, @cvseibel