Attorney Plans to File Complaint on Leaks in Le Case

Car seized from motel where Yale suspect arrested

By COLLEEN LONG, PAT EATON-ROBB and LeAnne Gendreau
|  Monday, Sep 21, 2009  |  Updated 1:00 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Attorney Plans to File Complaint on Leaks in Le Case

AP

Raymond Clark III, 24, wearing white a T-shirt, is driven away from an apartment building by police on Tuesday Sept. 15, 2009 in Middletown, Conn. Police on Tuesday raided the apartment of Raymond Clark III, a man they call a person of interest in the slaying of Yale graduate student Annie Le. Two search warrants for DNA and other physical evidence were served at the apartment. (AP Photo/The Middletown Press, Matt Kabel) MANDATORY CREDIT

advertisement

The public defender representing the Yale lab tech accused of slaying Annie Le plans to file a formal complaint about leaks in the case.

Joseph Lopez told Newsday that his office will file the complaint with the state attorney's office about leaks to the media that he says raise "serious concerns" and are a "very serious and disturbing situation."

"I think it's outrageous that there are law enforcement authorities that are releasing details, and it's inappropriate and something should be done about it," public defender Thomas Ullmann said Sunday night. "I called for an investigation and I also feel that, if it's discovered who's leaking this information, they should be fired."

Media organizations have reported details law enforcement sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, provided by and Lopez told Newsday that "can jeopardize the integrity of the investigation and of the judicial proceedings . . . particularly when some of the leaked information may not be true."

New Haven police would not comment on the letter or accusations of leaks.

Le was supposed to be in Greece on her honeymoon this week. Instead, the 24-year-old Yale graduate student's body was sent to California home in a casket.

Police investigating the murder of Le are still collecting evidence, including a car they towed from the motel where the suspected killer was arrested.
    
Police wouldn't confirm who owns the Ford Taurus they towed Friday night from the Super 8 motel in Cromwell, Conn. The father of Raymond Clark III, the Yale lab technician charged with Le's murder, checked into the motel before his son was arrested Thursday.
    
A state trooper who took part in the seizure confirmed that it was related to Clark's arrest. It's not clear if the suspect's father is still staying at the Super 8, and police did not enter the motel.
    
New Haven police spokesman Joe Avery said he knew nothing about the seizure. Cromwell police referred questions to the New Haven police department.
    
Clark's parents, Raymond John Clark Jr. and Diane Clark, are separated, according to a person familiar with the family who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the nature of the charges.
    
New Haven Police Chief James Lewis told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday that the investigation was continuing, although they didn't expect more arrests. Lewis said authorities may never know the motive for the killing of Le, whose body was found hidden behind a wall on what should have been her wedding day.
    
"The only person who knows the motive is the suspect,'' Lewis said. "It's true in many cases. You never know absolutely unless the person confesses, and in this case it's too early to tell.''
    
Clark, a technician in the lab where Le conducted research, was arrested a day after authorities took DNA samples from him to compare with evidence from the crime scene.
    
Clark's bond was set at $3 million, and he did not enter a plea.
    
A telephone message seeking comment from the public defenders' office, which is representing Clark, was not immediately returned Saturday.
    
A law enforcement official who talked to the AP on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing and many details remained sealed said co-workers called Clark a "control freak'' who was territorial about the mice whose cages he cleaned.
 
Authorities are investigating whether that attitude might have set off a clash between Clark and Le.
   
Clark tried to hide evidence even as investigators worked in the basement lab around him, authorities said, then coolly played a softball game on the day Le's body was found stuffed inside a nearby wall.
    
An investigator observed Clark trying to hide cleaning equipment that contained blood splatters as teams probed the disappearance of Le, who was 24, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation who spoke to The Hartford Courant.
    
Investigators have records of Clark, also 24, cleaning areas that Le was in before she was reported missing Sept. 8, the official told the Courant, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    
But despite Clark's efforts, investigators found DNA of both the suspect and victim in the ceiling and in the wall recess where Le's body was hidden, the official told the paper. New Haven police wouldn't confirm that information to the AP.
    
The body of Le, a pharmacology student from Placerville, Calif., was recovered Sunday, the day she was to get married on New York's Long Island.
    
Prosecutors may face difficult questions in Clark's trial about why they didn't restrict access to the lab after Le was reported missing, legal experts said. Le disappeared on a Tuesday, and authorities didn't close it until the weekend.
    
"If a jury is looking for something to grab onto, then this could be something for them to grab onto,'' said Hugh Keefe, a top state defense attorney.
    
Le's work involved experiments on mice that were part of research into enzymes that could have implications for treatment of cancer, diabetes and muscular dystrophy, while Clark's technician job involved cleaning floors and mouse cages.
    
Ann Turner, executive director of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, acknowledges "there is a gulf'' between technicians and the researchers they interact with, but said a gap in education levels shouldn't necessarily lead to tension.
    
"If there is a culture of trust and a culture of respect, the researchers will respect the animal care technicians, and vice versa,'' Turner said.
    
A memorial service for Le is planned for Friday at the Huntington, N.Y., temple her fiance's family attends. 
    
The family of fiance Jonathan Widawsky, a graduate student at Columbia University, had already announced it would not attend services "for the foreseeable future'' to ease things for the synagogue, Sherry said.
    
Clark is jailed in Suffield, about 20 miles north of Hartford. His next scheduled court date is Oct. 6.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Get Fit With NBC Connecticut!
The Health & Wellness Festival is back in... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out