Lawyer: Yale killing suspect will plead not guilty

The Yale lab technician charged in the strangulation slaying of graduate student Annie Le will eventually plead not guilty, his public defender said Tuesday.

Raymond Clark III, who has been jailed on $3 million bond since he was arrested last month on a murder charge, appeared Tuesday before a New Haven judge but did not enter a plea. He wore an orange jumpsuit, The Associated Press reported.

"Raymond will enter a not guilty plea," Connecticut public defender Joseph Lopez of Bridgeport said earlier Tuesday.

The judge scheduled a probable cause hearing for Oct. 20, in which sides will have the right to introduce evidence and call witnesses, the AP said. Under Connecticut law, defendants accused of murder have the right to the hearing within 60 days of their arrest to decide if the case will go forward.

The judge said he will also consider at that hearing whether to extend a sealing order on the police arrest affidavit in the case, the AP said.

News about Le's disappearance Sept. 8 has received a ferocious amount of media attention. Records of warrants served against Clark have been sealed because of the police investigation, and the public defender's office wants them to stay sealed beyond the 14-day period initially ordered to avoid influencing potential jurors.

The search and arrest warrants, which include at least 1,000 pages, give specifics of the evidence against Clark.

The Hartford Courant was to file a motion Tuesday to make the warrants public, the paper said on its Web site.

Le's strangled body was found hidden in the wall of a research lab building on Sept. 13, the day she was to be married on Long Island to a Huntington man.

The disappearance of Le, 24, of Placerville, Calif., from the Ivy League school five days before her Syosset wedding had set off a massive bicoastal search, with police at first considering the possibility that Le was a runaway bride.

Authorities focused on Clark, also 24, because he failed a lie-detector test, his DNA matched crime scene evidence and key card swipe records at the lab showed him to be the last person in the room where Le was found, according to published reports.

An autopsy showed Le died of traumatic asphyxia caused by "neck compression," according to the Connecticut medical examiner.

Authorities have said the case is one of "workplace violence," but have not elaborated on the motive.

Clark cleaned cages, set up experiments and euthanized animals in the lab building where Le did her PhD research in pharmacology.

Since his arrest, Clark has been held at the maximum-security MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in South Suffield, Conn., where authorities put him because of his high bail.

He last appeared in court on the day of his dramatic arrest just after dawn at a Super 8 motel, where he had been staying with his father.

Yale University will hold a memorial service for Le at its campus chapel Monday evening, and the administration has established a scholarship fund in her name.

With AP

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