Raymond Clark III, the former Yale lab technician charged with the murder of Annie Le GRD ‘13, is scheduled to appear in New Haven court today.
Nearly 17 months after his arrest, Clark’s case is still in the pretrial stage, and there are no firm deadlines to bring him to trial. Joseph Lopez, one of the public defenders assigned to Clark, said that the Wednesday meeting will most likely not include any discussion on the record, but is instead one part of the ongoing pretrial procedure. Lopez said he did not anticipate Clark’s appearance at the meeting, adding that only the lawyers for both sides and the judge will be present.
“The [defense] lawyers decide if they need or want their client there, and then request that the judge permit him to waive his appearance,” Lopez said, explaining Clark’s planned absence despite being scheduled to appear. “We made the request, and it has already been granted.”
Clark, who has plead “not guilty” to the charge of felony murder for the Sept. 8, 2009, death, has not attended most of his pretrial meetings since he was taken into custody. Beth Merkin, Clark’s other public defender, called a previous meeting a “nonevent.”
Merkin said that, although these meetings have not produced any concrete results, they are legally necessary. The pretrial procedure usually includes an attempt at a resolution before the trial, she added. She could not specify if either party was working on a plea agreement.
“Things are in the works,” she said.
Clark pleaded “not guilty” to murder and felony murder on Jan. 26, 2010. The latter charge means that Clark’s intentions do not matter if he is found culpable for Le’s death. He could still be found guilty if Le was found to have died during a major crime, such as kidnapping, robbery or rape.
In the hearings following Clark’s arrest, the prosecution did not present any likely motive.
Clark is currently held at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Conn.