BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — James Krauseneck is scheduled to go on trial for murder next year in connection to his wife’s death nearly four decades ago.
Authorities say Brighton police responded to the Del Rio Drive home of James and his wife Cathleen on February 19, 1982.
“We believe, in examining the timeline of events, speaking with witnesses and James Krauseneck’s timeline that he provided along with all other evidence will establish that James was home at the time of the murder,” said Brighton Police Chief David Catholdi.
Upon arrival, officers discovered that Cathleen was killed, and it was later determined that the cause of her death was a single blow to her head with an axe.
Cathleen was 29 years old at the time of her death. The two shared a daughter, Sarah, who was 3 and half years old when the crime occurred.
“I can certainly speak firsthand that this murder, this terrible murder, had a devastating impact on the Brighton community,” said Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle.
Officials say forensics and DNA analysis played a key role in James’ arrest and subsequent charges.
“I hope this case — and what you saw on Friday with Xerox — serves a couple purposes. One, it’s a step toward closure for the victims family, and two, just as importantly, just because the years go by doesn’t mean you can stop looking over your shoulder, were coming for you,” said FBI assistant special agent Jeremy Bell.
Police say taking a fresh look back in 2015 helped lead them in the right direction. Chief Catholdi said they didn’t find any evidence that placed anyone else but Krauseneck at the scene.
Officials said “hundreds, if not thousands of investigative hours went into this case over the past few decades.”
Yousef Taha, an attorney for Krauseneck, said his client is nothing but innocent. “Mr. Krauseneck has been cooperative as I said from the time this incident occurred and even during court, he came into court on his own and was nothing but respectful and we look forward to addressing these allegations in court,” he said.
Krauseneck is charged with one count of second-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to begin on June 2, 2020.
“Everything we’ve done, everything we will continue to do, is to ensure that on June 2, we have the ability to have 12 strangers from this community to look at this evidence, and convict Mr. Krauseneck,” said Assistant District Attorney William Gargan, Bureau Chief of the Domestic Violence Bureau.
“I want to thank the Brighton Police Department, who has worked with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office since 1982, for never giving up on finding justice for Cathleen Krauseneck,” said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley in a press release. “We look forward to bringing this case through the criminal justice system and finally bringing justice to Cathleen, her friends and family.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney William Gargan, Bureau Chief of the Domestic Violence Bureau.