Defense granted access to homicide scene

·2 min read

Oct. 28—SUNBURY — The defense attorney of a Mount Carmel Township woman accused of homicide will be granted access to the home where the killing took place.

At a brief hearing for Lisa Karlaza in Northumberland County Court on Wednesday, Judge Paige Rosini granted Public Defender Laurie Ann Pickle permission to view, document and photograph the homes of 21 Back St., Dooleyville, Mount Carmel Township. Karlaza, 53, is accused of stabbing her husband Richard Karlaza to death during a July 4 altercation.

District Attorney Tony Matulewicz did not object to the request. Karlaza is the owner of the home. Access would have to be granted by Karlaza's son Nicholas Karlaza, who is in Massachusetts.

Matulewicz said Pickle has all discovery evidence with the exception of an interview completed on Tuesday and state police lab results that are not back to the commonwealth yet. Rosini said he should continue to hand evidence to the defense as it comes in.

There are also pending motions of appointing a private investigator and psychologist, as well habeas corpus motion.

Mount Carmel Township Police were dispatched to Back Street at 6 p.m. on July 4 for an initial report of a home invasion. An investigation showed there was no sign of forced entry to the home.

Police found Richard Karlaza deceased, laying in a pool of blood with several lacerations to his chest and neck. Witnesses said they overheard an argument between the Karlazas and then a crash by the front door, police said.

Another witness testified that he went outside on his back porch and heard Lisa Karlaza crying and she was saying she needed help. Moments later Lisa Karlaza called 911 and told dispatchers someone broke into their home, police said.

Mount Carmel police served a search warrant and found an eight-and-a-half-inch knife in a dishwasher with suspected blood on the blade, according to testimony.

In addition to homicide, Karlaza is facing two felony counts of aggravated assault; three misdemeanor counts of possessing an instrument of crime, making false reports and simple assault; and a summary count of harassment.

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