Several bloody articles of clothing and DNA matches provided the evidence needed to charge Raymond Clark III with the murder of Annie Le GRD ’13, according to a court document released Friday.
In sometimes gruesome detail, the arrest warrant affidavit for Clark provides the fullest account yet of the police’s case against Clark and the investigation leading to his Sept. 17 arrest. The document was sealed afterward, but a judge ruled last Friday to release it to “promote openness and transparency” during the trial. According to the ruling, more court documents will be released Tuesday.
The redacted version of the arrest affidavit does not mention premeditation or motive. Beth Merkin, one of the public defenders representing Clark, said evidence is still being discovered. Clark has yet to enter a plea.
“What you’re seeing here is a tiny piece of the entire investigation,” Merkin said in a phone interview Friday. “There’s no game plan until we know what we’ve got.”
Le was last seen at the Yale research building, 10 Amistad St., on Sept. 8. According to the documents, investigators found a bloody blue T-shirt similar to the one Clark was wearing in video surveillance from the building that day. They also found a box of hygienic wipes on a steel pushcart outside the room where Le disappeared; an extra-large lab coat with blood stains, with DNA that matched Le and an unknown male; a blood-stained rubber glove; Le’s white athletic sock, hidden in a ceiling, with blood and hair containing both her and Clark’s DNA; a pair of work boots labeled “Ray-C,” one of which was missing its shoelaces, and blue short-sleeved hospital scrubs similar to one worn by Clark that day.
Investigators used the physical evidence gathered at 10 Amistad St. to obtain a search and seizure warrant to collect mouth swabs, body hair, fingerprints and fingernail clippings from Clark. These revealed that the unknown DNA found in the basement matched his.
Chemical testing also revealed that bloodstains had been cleaned up in several rooms in the basement, including the last room where Le swiped her ID card.
Electronic records of keycard access swipes in the Amistad building showed that Clark and Le were in the same room at the same time the day Le went missing. Investigators also reported they saw a scratch on Clark’s face and left bicep when they interviewed Amistad employees on Sept. 10; Clark said at the time that cats had scratched him.
On Sept. 13, authorities discovered Le’s body after smelling an odor from a wall behind a toilet in a basement locker room.
Underneath her body, investigators found a bloody green ink pen, which was later found to be a match to the pen he used to sign his timesheets earlier that morning. Investigators matched blood on the pen to Le and DNA on its cap to Clark.
The disclosures come after four news organizations, led by the Hartford Courant, filed a motion last month to make the documents public. Earlier this month, both the defense and prosecution asked the court to keep the documents sealed to ensure a fair trial and protect the privacy of Le’s family.
But last Friday, New Haven Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano ruled that releasing the court records would not interfere with Clark’s right to a fair trial. Although the defense lawyers had argued that the information would taint the pool of potential jurors, Fasano said the high level of publicity already surrounding the case makes juror bias unlikely.
Merkin said she hopes the records will not affect jury selection.
“We tried to challenge the release of more than was kept sealed, but I understand that the judge had a balancing process, and I respect whatever decision he made,” she said. “With the system the way it is, I don’t think that this is going to create a big problem.”
The lawyer for the Hartford Courant, Paul Guggina, as well as state prosecutor John Waddock and New Haven Police Department spokesman Joseph Avery, declined to comment on the release of the documents.
Clark is being held at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Conn., on a $3 million bond. His next court appearance is set for Dec. 21.
Colin Ross contributed reporting.