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Jury to consider life or death for man with bodies in yard

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  • Hugo Selenski is led into the Luzerne County Courthouse on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/The Citizens' Voice, Mark Moran)

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. » The jury that convicted a northeastern Pennsylvania man of strangling two people during a 2002 robbery is scheduled to return Tuesday to hear testimony on whether he should be given a life sentence or be put to death.

The penalty phase of Hugo Selenski’s capital murder trial opens four days after Gov. Tom Wolf declared a moratorium on the death penalty in Pennsylvania.

Selenski was convicted last week of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of pharmacist Michael Kerkowski and his girlfriend, Tammy Fassett. Prosecutors say Selenski and another man killed the couple in a plot to rob the pharmacist of tens of thousands of dollars from an illegal prescription drug ring.

Police found the victims’ bodies, along with three other sets of human remains, on Selenski’s property north of Wilkes-Barre (WILKS’-ba-ree) in 2003.

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