The defense allowed access to the homicide scene


October 28 – SUNBURY – Defense attorney for a Mount Carmel Township woman accused of homicide will have access to the house where the murder took place.

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

District Attorney Tony Matulewicz did not oppose the request. Karlaza is the owner of the house. Access is expected to be granted by Karlaza’s son Nicholas Karlaza, who is in Massachusetts.

Matulewicz said Pickle had all the evidence of the find except for an interview that ended Tuesday and the state police lab results which have yet to reach the Commonwealth. Rosini said he should continue to hand over evidence to the defense as it arrives.

There are also pending requests for the appointment of a private investigator and a psychologist, as well as a request for habeas corpus.

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

Police found Richard Karlaza dead, lying in a pool of blood with several lacerations to his chest and neck. Witnesses said they heard an argument between the Karlaza and then an accident near the front door, police said.

Another witness said he came out on his back porch and heard Lisa Karlaza cry and say she needed help. Moments later, Lisa Karlaza called 911 and told dispatchers someone had broken 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 the homicide, Karlaza faces two counts of aggravated assault; three counts of possession of an instrumentality, misrepresentation and common assault; and a summary harassment account.

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