In his retrial on murder charges, former Baltimore police Sgt. James Allan Kulbicki denied yesterday any role in the slaying of a Royal Farm Store employee with whom he had a three-year affair and a son.
Mr. Kulbicki, 39, testified in Baltimore County Circuit Court that he had a list of errands to run Jan. 9, 1993 -- the afternoon when prosecutors say he shot Gina Marie Nueslein, 22, at close range in his Ford pickup truck, then dumped her body in Gunpowder Falls State Park.
But the prosecution pointed out inconsistencies between Mr. Kulbicki's account and those of a half-dozen state witnesses, getting him to suggest that the others were "mistaken" in their recollection of events.
Mr. Kulbicki also recited the list of errands two years ago, when his first trial resulted in conviction and a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. The verdict was reversed on appeal because Mr. Kulbicki had not been allowed to rebut testimony.
Taking the stand again in his own defense about noon yesterday, in the second week of the retrial, Mr. Kulbicki answered questions for more than four hours.
His attorney, Patricia Hall, put a large map of South Baltimore on an easel, and Mr. Kulbicki used a marker to draw for the jury his route on the day of the killing. It included trips to a shoemaker, a dry cleaner, a hardware store and a property he had rented out.
That evening, he testified, he took his wife, Connie, and their son, Allan, now 11, to Eastpoint Mall for pizza and shopping.
Ms. Hall also asked Mr. Kulbicki who had access to his pickup truck, and he said the keys were kept in a desk in the house where his wife and stepson, Darryl Marciszewski, had access to them -- although the youth was not supposed to use the vehicle.
The defense lawyer's last question was, "Did you kill Gina Nueslein?"
"No," Mr. Kulbicki replied.
On cross-examination by Assistant State's Attorney James O'C. Gentry Jr., Mr. Kulbicki was momentarily at a loss for words when confronted with an apparent contradiction in his account of telling his wife sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 1990 that he had gotten Ms. Nueslein pregnant.
Facing a paternity suit, he said, he thought it would be better to "get it out in the open" before Christmas.
When Mr. Gentry said, "But she didn't learn of her pregnancy until January," spectators in the courtroom stirred as Mr. Kulbicki searched for words. He later said he wasn't exactly sure when he told his wife.
Mr. Kulbicki's testimony clashed with that of the victim's sister, Jennifer Nueslein, who testified last week of seeing Mr. Kulbicki in his truck outside the Nueslein home Jan. 8, 1993. Mr. Kulbicki testified that he was at a birthday party that evening.