SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The coroner states a homicide investigation is underway after a man was strangled to death in a Scranton home Wednesday.
According to Lackawanna County Coroner Timothy Rowland, Richard Hazelton Jr., of Scranton, died Wednesday at a home on Rock Street in Scranton.
Police believe William Auriemma, 52, of Scranton, is responsible for Hazelton’s death.
As stated in the affidavit, Auriemma lives on Rock Street and claimed Hazelton broke into his home. Auriemma told police he had Hazelton tied down and there were no injuries or weapons involved.
However, when investigators arrived at the home they said Auriemma was covered in blood, there was blood on the walls and he had a metal pipe.
According to court documents, police searched the house and found Hazelton on the floor of a room with blood all over. Hazelton’s body was leaning against a tub covered in blood with a sweater wrapped around his head, his wrists were bound with duct tape, and a stab wound to his back, police stated.
A woman who lives with Auriemma told officers Auriemma and Hazelton had just gotten out of rehab and Hazelton was staying at the house on and off. However, Auriemma continued to claim that he did not know who Hazelton was, officers said.
Rowland said Hazelton’s death was caused by asphyxia due to manual strangulation and his death has been ruled a homicide.
Auriemma has been charged with aggravated assault.
The investigation is ongoing by Scranton police and the Lackawanna County District Attorney.