Democrat & Chronicle
William Lewek must go to trial
By Gary Craig
May 22, 2014

Psychiatrist William Lewek

Psychiatrist William Lewek

A judge has denied a bid by a local psychiatrist to enter a substance abuse program.

Dr. William Lewek, who allegedly hid the body of Matthew Straton in his backyard in October, had hoped to be directed to a specialized court that routes criminal defendants into treatment. If successful, their criminal charges can be reduced or even dismissed.

But County Court Judge Vincent Dinolfo ruled after a hearing Thursday that Lewek is not eligible for the specialized court.

There was no dispute that Lewek has issues with alcohol and substance abuse. A substance abuse expert made that determination after meetings with Lewek, a psychiatrist who himself specialized in treating addicts.

But entry into the treatment court requires a judge to also consider other factors, such as whether the abuse contributed to the crime and whether the public needs to be protected from Lewek.

Straton was buried under lawn chairs, a flower pot and dirt and debris. A bungee cord, which Lewek apparently used to drag him from the third floor, was with the body, Wolford said.

“To this day, because of the crimes he committed, we have no idea what killed Matthew Straton,” Wolford said. “None.”

A cause of death has not been determined.

“We’re disappointed,” Parrinello said after court. “But for who he is and the media he received, he 100 percent belongs in that court.”

Nearly 30 people — Straton’s family and friends — filled the small courtroom when Dinolfo announced his decision. Afterward, they said they were pleased that Lewek will now face trial for his alleged crimes.

Kym Straton, Matthew’s mother, said she doubts she’ll ever know exactly how her son died but she wants Lewek “to pay for the (criminal) charges.”

“I’m hoping this man, however it comes out, pays for whatever he did,” she said.

Lewek is also accused of having crack cocaine in his home which he planned to distribute.