Convicted Brighton ax murderer, James Krauseneck, in prison hospital while appeal is pending

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — James Krauseneck, the man convicted in September of killing his wife in their Brighton home in 1982, is ill.

One of Krauseneck’s attorneys, Michael Wolford, says Krauseneck is in the infirmary at Mohawk Correctional Facility. Wolford would not talk about Krauseneck’s illness.

The state Department of Corrections says Krauseneck was moved from Clinton Correctional to Mohawk Correctional on March 6th, 2023.

In an email, DOCCS spokesman Tom Mailey wrote, “Incarcerated individuals are transferred to other facilities for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, availability of a treatment or vocational program or security or medical issue.”

When we asked Mailey to confirm Krauseneck’s illness, Mailey said the private medical information of inmates is protected by federal law.

After his sentencing in November, Krauseneck was sent to Clinton, one of New York’s maximum security prisons. Mohawk is a medium security prison.

Krauseneck’s conviction is in the first stages of an appeal. His attorneys filed a notice of appeal on Nov. 9, 2022.
Under New York law, a defendant has a fundamental right to an appeal. And according to People v. Novak, an appeals case in 2017, thr New York State Court of Appeals is “empowered to review both questions of law and fact, ‘this unique factual review power is the linchpin of our constitutional and statutory design intended to afford each at least one appellate review of the facts.'”

The New York State Court of Appeals is effectively a defendant’s “13th juror.”

Krauseneck was indicted nearly 40 years after his wife Cathy was found dead in their bed with an ax in her head. In September, a jury took less than two days to find Krauseneck guilty of murder.
At his sentencing in November, Krauseneck told the court, “In closing, I did not murder Cathy. I love Cathy with all my heart and with all my soul. I continue to be haunted at why and who someone would have murdered such a beautiful person.”

Judge Charles Schiano told Krauseneck “my thinking is you’ve been able to live your life for the last 40 years without any restrictions. You’ve had the enjoyment of life. Cathy, since February 19, 1982, did not have the opportunity to enjoy life: with her family, with her friends, with her daughter. I think the only just sentence in this matter is a sentence of 25 years in the department of corrections to life.”

See our complete coverage of the Brighton Ax murder trial: