Thursday, April 19, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg man charged with tampering in a Pennsylvania killing

A St. Petersburg man is accused of trying to help cover up the killing of his son's wife, who disappeared into Lake Erie in Pennsylvania last month.

Ernest Leclair, 74, was charged Wednesday with tampering with and fabricating physical evidence, according to the Erie Times-News. Police accused him of trying to hide the firearm they believe was used to kill Karen Leclair, 51, who was shot in the head.

Her husband, Christopher Leclair, has been charged with criminal homicide. Police accused him of binding the woman's ankles and tying a small anchor to her chest to keep her at the bottom of the lake. A gun matching the one that killed Karen Leclair, a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, was found in the couple's home, police said.

Ernest Leclair was visiting his son in the Erie area when he was arrested. He was arraigned and placed in Erie County Prison on $25,000 bail.

Christopher Leclair is being held in Erie County Prison without bail, awaiting a preliminary hearing on July 31.

Police believe Karen Leclair disappeared on June 10. The next day, Christopher Leclair reported to the U.S. Coast Guard that she had fallen off their boat, the Doris-M.

A boater later discovered her body floating in the water and called police.

 
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