Pa. paper, 4 employees charged

December 13, 1991|By Knight-Ridder ujB

In another twist to an already sensational tale of murder in northeastern Pennsylvania, four Wilkes-Barre Times Leader journalists have been arrested for publishing a transcript of a tape-recorded telephone conversation with a murder suspect.

Luzerne County District Attorney Jerome Cohen charged the four, and the newspaper itself, with violating Pennsylvania's wiretap laws. The individuals face up to seven years in jail and $15,000 fines on the third-degree felony charges.

After being fingerprinted and processed yesterday by District Justice Martin Kane, they were released on their own recognizance without having to post $5,000 bail.

The arrests stem from the newspaper's decision in August to publish a transcript of what the district attorney said was an illegally taped conversation in July 1989 between columnist Steve Corbett and E. Glen Wolsieffer, a local dentist convicted in November 1989 of the strangulation murder of his wife.

During the highly publicized case, which was filled with stories of Wolsieffer's marital infidelity and his wife Betty's increasing annoyance with him, Wolsieffer maintained that "druggies" had broken into his home on Aug. 30, 1986, knocked him unconscious and killed his wife.

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