December 21st, 2009 | News, University

Clark hearing put off until January

Raymond Clark III’s next appearance in court, which was scheduled for today, will be put off until Jan. 26 because not all of the materials in the case have been made available to lawyers, said his attorney, Beth Merkin.

The New Haven Superior Court clerk’s office confirmed that the court date for Clark, the Yale animal lab technician accused of murdering Annie Le GRD ’13, has been “formally” continued until Jan. 26.

Merkin said that all of the police records, lab reports, photographs and other evidence have not yet been collected. In this case, she said, it has taken longer than usual to compile all of the materials because there were four investigating agencies involved: the New Haven Police Department, the Yale Police Department, the Connecticut State Police and the FBI. But, she added, postponing a court date is not uncommon.

“The starting point is the lawyer to have discovery materials before we take any next step in any case,” she said.

The prosecution is in charge of obtaining the materials in question, Merkin said. John Waddock, the state prosecutor handling the case, declined to comment on the case specifically but said that, in general, once the prosecutor’s office obtains the materials, they are provided to the defense counsel.

Waddock did confirm that both sides agreed that the hearing should be postponed on Jan. 26.

Two New Haven criminal defense attorneys interviewed said it was not unusual to continue a case at a later date.

“It’s totally normal,” criminal defense attorney Paul Carty said.

Ira Grudberg ’55 LAW ’60, a trial lawyer, said postponing the date is not unusual, especially in a case “as serious and perhaps as complex” as Clark’s.

Clark could enter a plea on Jan. 26, Merkin said, and it would be “not guilty.” Merkin said that if the public defense team decides the prosecutors have a strong enough case, the defense would waive their right to a probable cause hearing.

Clark was arrested and charged with Le’s murder on Sept. 17. He is being held at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Conn., on $3 million bond.