Pianka trial under way again - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Localnews

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Pianka trial under way again

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Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:00 am

The trial of Grace Pianka began Tuesday afternoon with two different versions of how her husband, Adam Kostewicz, died April 15, 2006.

"Grace Pianka killed her husband, Adam Kostewicz ... in his own bedroom," Deputy County Attorney Cleve Lynch told the seven-woman, four-man jury during opening statements.

"A rush to judgment, that's why we are here today," with the police looking at the wife and never considering anyone else defense attorney Alicia Dominguez told the same jury a few minutes later.

This is the second time 51-year-old Pianka will stand trial for the second-degree murder of her husband.

The first trial ended in August with a 4-4 hung jury. Half the jurors agreed with the state that once Pianka learned Kostewicz was having an affair she killed him. But the other half wondered if the other woman, Virginia McIntyre, may have somehow been involved in the murder and if police rushed to target Pianka.

McIntyre fled the state and refused to answer subpoenas to testify in the first trial and the defense plans to focus on her as the possible shooter.

"All evidence points to her and Robert," Dominguez said of McIntyre and her husband during opening statements.

But Lynch pointed out that when McIntyre discovered the body of her dead lover, she called police and stayed to answer questions, while Pianka fled and was found in Yavapai County the following day.

"She had nothing to gain, financially," Lynch said.

But the defense has said it will point out how McIntyre was special administrator for Kostewicz's estate and that once the court froze all the assets, she withdrew from administering the estate and then left the state.

The trial is expected to take at least a month.

Testimony will begin Wednesday morning.

For more information, visit https://owa.aztrib.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.ahwatukee.com" target="_blank">ahwatukee.com or see the Feb. 20 issue of the Ahwatukee Foothills News.


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