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The Times
  • Leach to stand trial for killing son day after Father's Day

  • When former Rochester police Capt. Michael Leach begins trial in June for killing his son in an Old Forge motel room, it will coincidentally be the day after Father's Day.
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  • When former Rochester police Capt. Michael Leach begins trial in June for killing his son in an Old Forge motel room, it will coincidentally be the day after Father's Day.
    The June 16 trial date was scheduled last Friday in Herkimer County Court, when Leach and attorneys for both sides appeared to discuss the future of the murder case.
    Although the timing of the trial has been unclear with a series of delays revolving around Leach's psychiatric evaluations, Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter said he expects all of those issues will be resolved by the day of jury selection.
    At that point, almost two years will have passed since Leach, 59, fatally shot his 37-year-old son, Matthew, inside their Clarks Beach motel room on July 21, 2012. Michael Leach has always claimed that he shot his son after mistaking him as in intruder, while prosecutors argue that gunfire aimed to kill any person without first confirming if they're a threat rises to the level of intentional murder.
    The court delays have primarily occurred as Leach's defense attorney sought more time to have his client evaluated by psychiatric experts, who ultimately concluded that Leach was suffering from post-traumatic stress and sleep disorders when he abruptly awoke and shot his son.
    On Friday last week, all of the documents compiled by the defense experts were finally turned over to prosecutors, Carpenter said. Those records and reports will now be given to the prosecution's psychiatric expert to review before evaluating Leach in the next several months, Carpenter said.
    As long as everything goes at planned, Carpenter said he expects Leach's trial to begin as planned.
    "At this point in time, I probably think it's going to be sufficient to complete our evaluation," Carpenter said.
    Follow @OD_LaDuca on Twitter or call him at 792-5037.
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