Raymond Clark III, the 24-year-old lab technician accused of strangling Yale pharmacology student Annie Le to death last fall, pled not guilty yesterday to two charges: murder and felony murder. The court hit Clark with the latter, surprise charge–which would allow the jury to convict even if the killing was only an accident, committed during another felony (rape, kidnapping, etc.)–at the beginning of Tuesday’s hearing.
The double not-guilty plea comes in the wake of mounting evidence against the Middletown resident, and gruesome details recently revealed in an 80 page arrest-warrant. The document detailed suspicious behavior on the part of Clark–including attempts to hide and clean bloody evidence–gore-stained articles of clothing (which he changed three times on the day of the murder), biological evidence in his car and home, scratches and cuts on his skin–indicating a struggle–and overuse of his keycard in Le’s work area. From the affidavit:
“While turning towards Officer Wood, Clark moved [a bloodstained] box of wipes from the corner to the far right corner and turned the box so that the blood splatter was facing to the right hand side of the cart away from plain sight.” Clark moved the box, then “leaned up against the cart and made small talk” with Wood. [New Haven Independent]
Clark is currently passing his time in maximum security prison on $3 million bail. He receives regular visits from his former fiancee–also a lab technician–and parents. A jailer described Clark as:
“nervous,” “very respectful,” and asking “many questions.”
He is no longer on suicide watch, and his fellow inmates have reportedly nicknamed him “Ray Ray.” He is allowed recreation time, and, according to his defenders, Beth Merkin and Joe Lopez, his mood is “good.”
Annie Le, Yale GRD ’13, was the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, grew up in tiny Placerville, California, and was her high school’s valedictorian. Friends described her as perpetually energetic, academically and intellectually impassioned, and very, very in love. At the time of her murder, she was preparing to marry her fiance, Columbia grad student and U of Rochester sweetheart Jonathan Widawsky. Her brother, Chris Le, wrote:
“She may be small, but she be fierce. Stuck in a 4′ 11″ frame, she had a 7′ tall personality. She will always live on through us.”
Le was last seen alive on security camera, entering 10 Amistad Hall at 10am on September 8, 2009. On her planned wedding day, September 13, investigators discovered her body, stuffed inside a wall in the building’s basement. She was 24 years old.
After the jump, read excerpts from the Clark case’s official affidavit, detailing the crime.
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