AUBURN - Cayuga County Court has denied convicted murderer Roy Brown's most recent attempt to have his guilty verdict overturned.
The district attorney's office called the motions Brown's latest attempt to "escape responsibility for murdering Sabina Kulakowski in 1991."
Brown was convicted of the brutal slaying of Kulakowski, a well-regarded day care coordinator, following a six-day trial in January 1992.
It is one of the more brutal murders in recent area history. Brown, who claimed county social workers had kidnapped his daughter, made threats against their lives in Kulakowski's office.
On May 23, 1991, Aurelius firefighters discovered Kulakowski's naked, beaten, stabbed, bitten and strangled body alongside a dirt lane near her burning farmhouse.
An autopsy revealed seven bite marks on her body. Two of Brown's wives testified he had also bitten them in anger.
That turned out to be crucial, because police found no bloody clothes in Brown's home, and hairs found on Kulakowski's body did not match Brown's.
After a trial that included testimony on bite marks from both defense and prosecution specialists, the jury deliberated for five hours before returning a guilty verdict on the murder charge on Jan. 23, 1992.
On Feb. 13, 1992, Cayuga County Judge Peter Corning sentenced Brown to an indeterminate term of 25 years to life.
Brown, now 42 and incarcerated at the Elmira Correctional Facility, has served more than 11 years of the sentence and could, conceivably, be free in less than 14 years.
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The jury's guilty verdict was upheld by the Appellate Division in Rochester and the Court of Appeals in Albany on several occasions.
"The defendant has had so many bites at the apple that he has not only devoured the apple and the core, but the tree that produced it as well," District Attorney James B. Vargason said.
In May 2003, Brown filed a motion in county court claiming to have discovered new evidence that pointed to another suspect, requesting the jury verdict be turned aside. He also argued the prosecution failed to provide certain witness statements before the trial.
In turn, the district attorney's office rebutted all Brown's claims in a written response.
On Sept. 15, Cayuga County Judge Peter Corning ruled against the motion on the grounds that the defendant had previously been "in a position to adequately raise the ground or issue underlying the present motion, but did not."
Corning wrote Brown had two previous opportunities to raise these allegations. Furthermore, he questioned the value of the documents, which were "accounts of individuals who responded to the scene and do not appear to implicate anyone."
Corning wrote the "newly discovered evidence" doesn't fall into the category of items that would ensure a more favorable verdict for the defendant. For the same reason, he ruled the prosecution's alleged failure to make these statements available wouldn't have affected the outcome.
Vargason, who tried the case just 13 days after he took office in 1992, considered Brown's latest attempt "frivolous," "baseless" and a drain on his office's time and resources.
He said it highlighted the need for the state to pass legislation limiting the number of appeals a prisoner can file.