WHEC Rochester
New details in the case of Rochester psychiatrist accused of hiding body in backyard
January 7, 2015

We’ve learned new details about the discovery of a missing man’s body in the backyard of a Rochester psychiatrist’s home.

The body of Matthew Straton was discovered on Rowley Street last January.

Police say Doctor William Lewek, who lives at the home, admitted to moving Straton’s body and partially burying it. He’s charged with tampering with evidence and faces drug charges.

He is not charged in Straton’s death. The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office says they know the cause of death for Straton, but for privacy reasons they won’t reveal it. Prosecutors say it’s not going to result in any new charges against Lewek.

We also learned Wednesday that police came to Lewek’s house three times looking for Matthew Straton before Lewek admitted that Straton’s body was buried in his backyard.

At that time, police had phone records that showed Lewek and Straton talked on the phone before he disappeared. When they showed up at his house last January 15 with a search warrant, Investigator Nicolas Mazzola testified that Lewek told him Straton died from a drug overdose and he buried his body in his backyard.

We asked Assistant District Attorney Kelly Wolford why she thought Lewek waited to reveal the body. She says, “Well it tells me that he didn’t want police to know until he had no choice.”

Matthew’s mother Kym Straton says, “I think the third time he had to admit to it because someone turned him in. He had to admit to it, he was there.”

At the hearing on Wednesday, things got a little testy. We overheard Judge Christopher Ciaccio threaten to send Defense Attorney Matt Parrinello to jail if he repeated a question one more time. Parrinello’s next question was different. The lawyers are back to argue whether Lewek’s statements can be used at trial on January 28.

You may also remember Lewek was arrested in Irondequoit last month for driving while ability impaired by drugs. At the hearing, the judge warned him that if he’s caught again using illegal drugs or driving under the influence, the judge will revoke his bail and send him to jail.

Psychiatrist William Lewek