NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — An animal research technician charged with killing a Yale University graduate student days before her wedding plans to plead guilty Thursday, his attorney said.

Raymond Clark III, who was charged with strangling 24-year-old Annie Le, of Placerville, Calif., would plead guilty in New Haven Superior Court, public defender Joseph Lopez said Tuesday.

Lopez would not specify the charges but said it was part of a plea deal.

“We anticipate a change of plea on Thursday,” Lopez said. “This appears to be in the best interests of our client.”

Prosecutor John Waddock said there was a “substantial likelihood” of a change of plea from Clark, who had pleaded not guilty. He declined further comment.

Le’s body was found stuffed behind a research lab wall on the day she was supposed to get married in New York in September 2009.

The crime drew intense national media attention and prompted the New Haven Register to print a rare extra edition announcing Clark’s arrest.

Le and her fiance, Jonathan Widawsky, planned to marry on Long Island and honeymoon in Greece. Instead, family and friends held a memorial service at which Le was remembered for her academic success, sense of humor, ambition, love for shoe shopping and love for her fiance.

Le’s relatives were grateful for the support they have received from the community and from law enforcement, family spokesman Kevin Eckery said Tuesday. They didn’t want to comment on the guilty plea because it hasn’t happened, he said.

“But they’re very conscious of the sad fact that no plea and no sentence will bring Annie back,” he said.

Le was a doctoral pharmacology student who worked on a team that experimented on mice as part of research into enzymes that could have implications for treatment of cancer, diabetes and muscular dystrophy.

Clark, 26, was a high school baseball and football player whose duties included cleaning mouse cages and the floors of the lab. Clark, who has been in prison on $3 million bail, has pleaded not guilty to murder and felony murder, which each carry a sentence of 25 to 60 years in prison upon conviction.

Felony murder is alleged when someone dies during the commission of a felony, such as robbery, burglary, kidnapping and sexual assault, or an attempted felony. Under Connecticut’s felony murder law, prosecutors don’t have to prove that a killing was intentional.

Police have said a green-ink pen under Le’s body had her blood and Clark’s DNA on it. Police said Clark signed into the secure building with a green pen the day Le disappeared.

Authorities have said they took plastic door panels and carpeting with “blood-like stains” from the car in which Clark was riding during the hours after Le’s disappearance.

They had also said DNA from Le and Clark was on a bloody sock found hidden in a ceiling.

Court papers describe a bloody crime scene and Clark’s efforts to scrub floors. Investigators say Clark tried to hide a box of cleaning wipes that later was found to have traces of Le’s blood.

Clark had scratches on his face and left arm that he said came from a cat, investigators wrote in court papers.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (11)
  1. cgood2 says:

    Hope Clark’s plea deal includes a lifetime of hard as hell prison time…

  2. Kay says:

    Plea deal——-How dare he even ask for a plea deal?….. I bet he turned a deaf ear to ther pleaing for her life as he was killing her..Chicken S–t!

  3. cj says:

    People don’t usually plead guilty when they are innocent so it seems fairly logical to assume he is in fact guilty

    1. Jeremy Staffordshire says:

      I put you in the category of idiot also, BJ. If you parsed out the moronic statements made by your buddies, Kay and cgood2, you would see that each presumes that he is guilty prior to the possible plea bargain (e.g., “how dare he even ask for a plea?” by that boob, Kay, and “hope Clark’s plea deal includes a lifetime of hard as hell prison time” by the mongoloid cgood2. Hey, maybe you children can all get together and play in sandbox (presuming your special needs teacher will permit it).

  4. Matt says:

    Jeremy, you cannot be that stupid. Two people read the article and see the guy is going to plead guilty. They then come to the conclusion that he is actually guilty and you somehow twist that into something it isn’t. Do you think he is innocent? What is the point of your comments…other than to show your ignorance?

  5. Matt says:

    Jeremy, it appears you are the weak one. Sitting behind your computer calling people names without ever making any kind of point. Really, you are just being a jerk for no reason. Your comments are silly and meaningless. Everyone can see that you are just trying to get under everyone’s skin. You come off as pathetic more than anything.

  6. Matt says:

    Yeah, cause both your comments are so intelligent. Again, make a case for your point. Quit calling names. You are just a child hiding behind your computer. No wit, no intelligence, no humor…YOU GOT NOTHING!

  7. jeremy staffordshire says:

    Matt steps on stage
    To try and make a point
    But his words come out
    Like he’s puffing da fat joint

    He says things like, “cause”
    Instead of “because”
    Because he’s on drugs
    and eats fat bugs

    He sticks up for right wing
    Like that biddy named Kay
    And that red-neck fool CJ

    Oh, snap, oh burn
    My nasty rhymes
    Cause your stomach to churn

    Matt is so fat.
    Use a jumprope Matt

  8. Matt says:

    Again Jeremy, all you do is make a fool of yourself. Stop trying so hard…you got nothing. Your silly poems say absolutely nothing…though they do let everyone know your IQ makes you “special”.

  9. jeremy staffordshire says:

    I think my poems were very clear. Let me reiterate: You are FAT.

    And by the way, I am leaving now, and will never check this site again, so …I WIN!!!

  10. Matt says:

    OK Charlie. Run and hide…Go back under the rock you came from. Next time try to actually be witty with your comments.

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