James Krauseneck

Opening statements made in Brighton ax murder case

BRIGHTON, N.Y. — Opening statements were made Tuesday in the Brighton ax murder case.

James Krauseneck is on trial after being charged with second-degree murder in the 1982 death of his wife Cathleen.

Cathleen’s murder has remained unsolved for decades. Police say James told investigators that he returned from work in 1982 and found his wife with an ax lodged in her head. A new development came in 2019, when investigators said new DNA evidence lead to Krauseneck’s arrest.

Defense prosecutor Bill Easton spoke on the difficulty of witness testimony 40 years after the killing occurred.

“It’s very hard to remember an event decades earlier,” Easton said. “And what your doing is basically remembering your memory. And so these witnesses are challenged. They are relying at lot on prior recollection and doing the best they can. It’s very challenging for a witness to testify with any degree of certainty as to what happened 40 years ago.”

Testimony continues on Wednesday.

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