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Democrat & Chronicle
Trial indefinitely postponed for Dr. William Lewek
By Gary Craig
September 24, 2014

Body-in-backyard-psychiatrist William Lewek

Psychiatrist William Lewek

The trial of a Rochester psychiatrist accused of burying a body in his backyard has been indefinitely postponed because of ongoing medical treatment for the doctor.

Dr. William Lewek, who is charged with hiding the body of Matthew Straton, is now hospitalized at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo after an odd Sept. 14 accident. Lewek was found in the Niagara River, sitting in a few feet of water, after his car went down a 40-foot embankment near the South Grand Island Bridge over the river.

He was charged with driving at an “unreasonable” speed and treated for hypothermia.

Lewek is awaiting trial on accusations that he buried the dead body of Straton in the yard at Lewek’s Rochester home on Rowley Street. Lewek allegedly told Rochester police that Straton, 32, died in the home.

Straton went missing in October, and Lewek allegedly told police that he died in his home within hours after Straton’s family reported him missing.

Pretrial arguments were scheduled Wednesday before Monroe County Court Judge Christoper Ciaccio. They were postponed Wednesday because of Lewek’s absence and uncertainty about when he would be able to attend court.

When he leaves the Buffalo hospital, Lewek will then go to a facility for treatment for a “serious medical” issue, his attorney, Matthew Parrinello, said Wednesday. Assistant District Attorney Kelly Wolford described the issue as a “medical condition.”

Ciaccio set a Nov. 12 court date for an update on Lewek’s condition.

“The system can’t go on without the defendant present,” Wolford said after court.

A judge earlier denied Lewek’s request to be directed into a specialized treatment court for defendants with substance abuse problems.

Lewek also is accused of having crack cocaine in his house.

Body-in-backyard-psychiatrist William Lewek