Hearing held for officer accused of killing son in Old Forge Motel


HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - A hearing was held Thursday morning to determine whether statements 59 year old Michael Leach made to police after he shot his son will be allowed to be brought up at his trial.

Leach shot his son, 38 year old Matthew Leach around 1:00 A.M. last July 21st in Old Forge inside the Clark's Beach Motel room they were sharing.

The two were on a motorcycle club trip from Rochester with other members.

Michael Leach has said he had been asleep for a couple of hours when his son came in.

He says he though his son was an intruder and shot him once, killing him.

On Thursday, the two Town of Webb police officers who responded to that scene took the witness stand.

They were called by Herkimer County District Attorney Jeff Carpenter.

Carpenter is arguing to allow the statements Leach made to those two officers before he was read his Miranda rights should be entered as evidence.

Judge John Crandall says the defense has until June 13th to make any legal arguments why he should not allow the statements, then Carpenter will have until June 18th to respond to those.

Once both sides present their legal evidence, Crandall will then begin to determine whether to allow the statements.

One of the statements police say Leach made was "I fired a round, I don't know where it went. That's my son. Oh my God. I'm done. That's it, I'm done."

Leach's attorney, Joe Damelio, addressed that particular statement after Thursday's proceedings.

Damelio says Leach, regarding the 'Im done' portion of that statement, felt his life was over because he shot his own son, he was distraught and felt his life was over.

Carpenter says the shooting was intentional, and that is why the elder Leach is charged with intentional murder. "I think the evidence at the time of trial will show it was an intentional act by the defendant. Beyond that, I can't get into the specifics of the evidence."

There are no other motions made in the case, so the next time Michael Leach is due back in Herkimer County Court is August 5th, the first day his trial is scheduled to begin.

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