BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — On Monday, a jury found James Krauseneck guilty of murdering his wife with an ax in her sleep 40 years ago.
It was a packed, tense courtroom Monday morning before the verdict was read.
Within seconds of hearing the verdict: “We did it…we did it! Justice for Cathy,” said Annet Schlosser, Cathy’s sister.
Their father Robert Schlosser, 95 years old, has been attending court every day for the trial. He says he lived to see this day.
After three weeks of reviewing physical evidence and hearing testimonies from neighbors, investigators and medical examiners; Assistant District Attorney Patrick Gallagher says no other conclusion could be reached.
“Just on the fact that we knew Cathy was killed in the early morning hours, when she was sleeping. And when you take into account, everything that comes with that, there was no one else that could’ve done this crime,” Gallagher said.
The defense team has been saying all along, there’s “no new evidence” in this case, and “not enough evidence” to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
The defense team says Cathy’s time of death was too hard to pinpoint, and any motive regarding tension in their marriage over James’ unfinished Ph.D. — was a reach.
“We believe there is no justification for waiting 37 years for this indictment, we think the law is on our side, and we’re confident we’re going to have a reversal,” said defense attorney Michael Wolford.
The case automatically goes to the appellate division for a chance to be reversed.
On the other side of the courtroom, was a distraught Sarah Krauseneck, Cathy and James’ daughter who was three at the time. Sarah was attending court with James’ current partner.
The Schlossers say they haven’t had any communication with her for years, until today, only for a moment.
“I told her when I walked in, you heard me, I said, ‘Sarah, I love you no matter what happens,’ and she said ‘thank you,’ and now we pray that Sarah will come back to us, and be a part of us because she has no family now,” said Annet.
“She’s been brainwashed for 40 years,” Robert said.
“How horrible she must feel right now, but let’s give her some time, and we’ll be in touch with her,” Annet said.
James Krauseneck will be held with no bail and no release, per statutory requirements. The judge did mention concern for him being a flight risk, as James has resided in other states around the country.
Sentencing is set for November 7.