Yale suspect's attorney to file complaint on new leaks

Raymond Clark III, right, stands next to Assistant

Raymond Clark III, right, stands next to Assistant Public Defender Joseph E. Lopez at his arraignment in New Haven (Conn.) Superior Court. Clark is accused of killing Yale University graduate student Annie Le. (Sept. 17, 2009) (Credit: Getty / Pool Photo)

An attorney for Annie Le slaying suspect Raymond Clark III will file a formal complaint about law enforcement leaks to the news media, the attorney said Saturday.

Public defender Joseph Lopez, who said his office will file the complaint with the state attorney's office, said the leaks raise "serious concerns" and are a "very serious and disturbing situation."

Media organizations, including Newsday, have reported details provided by law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, including Clark's apparent DNA matches to crime scene materials, key card swipes by Clark in areas of the Yale lab building where Le was murdered, and Clark's apparent attempts to surreptitiously clean and destroy evidence at the lab.

"That can jeopardize the integrity of the investigation and of the judicial proceedings . . . particularly when some of the leaked information may not be true," Lopez said.

He did not elaborate and declined to otherwise comment on the case.

Defending Clark against what appears to be a mountain of evidence might also mean trying to convince jurors that the scene was contaminated because police didn't immediately shut down the lab where the victim was eventually found, legal experts told The Associated Press.

Le vanished Sept. 8; her body was found hidden in a lab wall recess five days later, the day she was to marry a Huntington man in a ceremony in Syosset.

Police charged Clark after reviewing 300 pieces of evidence, including DNA samples taken from Clark a day before he was arrested. His bond was set at $3 million; he did not enter a plea.

The evidence is so overwhelming that police believe they don't necessarily need a motive to convince jurors of his guilt, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Clark's attorneys may have to go after how that evidence was gathered - rather than what it showed - and have prosecutors defend their decision not to seal the lab building until Le's body was found, the legal experts said.

"You attempt to attack the investigative process as well as the conclusions," said William Dow III, a New Haven-based defense lawyer who does not represent anyone in this case.

Prosecutors won't be able to deny that the area where the body was found was different from the scene when the murder took place, attorneys said. And Yale students were allowed into the basement of the research building for at least three days after Le disappeared.

"DNA can be transferred in many, many ways, and when people work together, DNA can be transferred in ways that are very legitimate," said Hartford defense attorney Michael Georgetti. With AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Related Stories

Follow Newsday on social media

advertisement | advertise on newsday