Arrests made in Willow Street homicide

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Investigators uncovered a plot to kill 52-year-old Judith Comisky after she was found stabbed to death in her Wilkes-Barre home earlier this month.

The men who police say planned and carried out her murder are now behind bars. Charles Bierly, and James Alberto were charged with homicide for the murder of Comisky.

“Any acts of violence are senseless. This particular act was not only senseless but irrational,” Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said.

On Thursday, September 16th, neighbors discovered Comisky dead on the kitchen floor of her home at 123 Willow Street in Wilkes-Barre. She was stabbed multiple times and shot.

“She was nice to talk to. She’d always wave,” neighbor Duane Vitale said.

According to court documents, Comisky’s tenant told police he received a call on Wednesday from James Alberto, who said he believed Comisky was snitching on him to police. Investigators learned Alberto used to rent a room from Comisky until they had a falling out a couple weeks before she was killed.

Alberto also knew the code to her door. But home surveillance footage captured a different man entering her home around the time she was murdered and leaving six minutes later. Police identified that man as Charles Bierly.

Security footage showed Alberto and Bierly meeting up at a nearby gas station about a half-hour before the murder. When police questioned Bierly, he said Alberto threatened to kill him and his girlfriend unless he killed Comisky.

According to court documents, Bierly told police after he killed Comisky he threw the knife and gun into the Susquehanna River. The Germania Hose Company dive team retrieved the weapons from the river.

“The evidence revealed that the murder was actually arranged by conspiracy because one of the conspirators falsely believed that Ms. Comisky was participating in an investigation with police,” Sangudolce said.

Bierly is charged with an open count of criminal homicide and related charges. Alberto is charged with criminal homicide as an accomplice, conspiracy to commit criminal homicide and solicitation to commit criminal homicide.

The district attorney’s office confirmed Comisky was not involved in any investigation with any law enforcement agency in Luzerne County. Bierly and Alberto were arraigned Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre. They are both in jail without bond.

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