CLARK TO PLEAD GUILTY

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Photo by YDN.

Raymond Clark III, the accused killer of Annie Le GRD ’13, will plead guilty to the murder on Thursday.

Beth Merkin, one of Clark’s public defenders, said her client plans to change his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’ at a regular pre-trial meeting on Thursday. This means that Clark’s case, she said, will most likely never reach trial, and will instead result in an out of court settlement.

“Assuming this plan goes as it is supposed to, the guilty plea would mean that there would be no trial,” Merkin said.

A guilty plea will also most likely result in a lighter sentence for her client, she added.

“Generically, if a case’s evidence is very strong, and the trial would result in guilty, then someone would usually do much better with an out of court resolution,” Merkin said.

Merkin could not comment on the specifics of the case because sentencing discussions will not occur until after the change of plea.

Clark’s guilty plea will come almost a year and a half after his arrest for Le’s Sept. 8, 2009 death. Clark was arrested and charged with the murder on the morning of Sept. 17. He pleaded “not guilty” to charges of murder and felony murder on Jan. 26, 2010. The latter charge means that Clark could be found responsible for Le’s death if it occurred during another felony such as kidnapping.

Nearly 95 percent of all criminal cases in New Haven courts result in a guilty plea, Merkin said.

The guilty plea will go on the record at New Haven court at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

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