By Jon King /

The long-awaited retrial of the man formerly convicted in a Livingston County double homicide has been delayed.

75-year-old Jerome Kowalski was sentenced to life in prison for his 2013 conviction in the murders of his brother and sister-in-law in their Oceola Township home in 2008. However, that conviction was vacated in 2019 following the revelation that ex-Judge Theresa Brennan, who presided over the case, was having an inappropriate relationship with the lead prosecution witness, former State Police Detective Sean Furlong.

The retrial was set to begin on Monday, but according to Michigan Attorney General’s Office spokesperson Lynsey Mukomel, it was adjourned by Judge Matthew Stewart, who cited the rising number of COVID cases in Livingston County. She said it will be up to Judge Stewart to decide when the positivity rate returns to a level that would allow the retrial to commence.

Data from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services shows that as of Tuesday, Livingston County had a 27.53% positivity rate, just below the 30.80% statewide rate. The World health Organization recommends positivity rates should be no more than 5%.

Despite having his original conviction vacated, Kowalski has remained behind bars since his arrest in 2008. If convicted a second time, he would face up to life in prison.