Peter Zielinski

Peter Zielinski


Of the Keizertimes

Saturday marks the two-year anniversary of a Keizer murder.

The Zielinski murder saga could be drawing to a close soon, as a trial is expected to take place in mid-March.

Peter John Zielinski has been charged with murder with firearm for the Jan. 12, 2011 killing of his wife, Lisa Zielinski.

Peter’s attorneys entered a not guilty plea based on extreme emotional disturbance in the fall of 2011.

In late 2011, a jury trial was scheduled for May 2012, but that was pushed back. Last June, a trial for this March was scheduled.

Doug Hanson, a Marion County deputy district attorney handling the case, noted there is a pre-trial conference in late January, an informal meeting in the judge’s chambers to make sure both sides are ready for trial.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Friday, March 15 with a weeklong trial set to begin Monday, March 18.

“We are ready to go,” said Hanson, who feels he has a strong case.

Jon Weiner, Peter Zielinski’s attorney, did not return calls for comment.

Since the trial was scheduled to go before Marion County Circuit Court judge Dale Penn last summer, there have been few developments. In August the prosecution filed a motion to exclude defense expert testimony from William Brown. An order granting that motion was approved in late September.

“We’ve had all the pre-trial motions,” Hanson said. “They are all completed at this point. I anticipate it will go to trial.”

Hanson noted the difficulties for families when trials come so long after an incident.

“In all types of cases like this, it’s difficult for family members to cope with the loss and also to have to go out so far to trial,” he said. “Going to trial will bring everything back. I think they have been doing well. They have been able to grieve.”

Lisa Zielinski, 38, was fatally shot in the couple’s home on Nightingale Court NE in Keizer.

She worked in sales and public relations at KYKN-AM radio in Keizer, sang in the church choir at St. Edward Catholic Church and was a greeter for the Keizer Chamber of Commerce.

A probable cause statement released after Peter’s arrest stated he shot his wife, believing she was having an affair. Police said he came to the Keizer Civic Center shortly after, calling 911 to inform dispatchers his wife needed an ambulance.