This article was originally published on GoErie.com by Madeleine O’Neill on October 4, 2018
Jurors at Christopher Leclair’s upcoming homicide trial in the shooting death of his wife on Lake Erie will hear evidence that Leclair was “leading a double life,” a prosecutor said in court Thursday.
The jury will also be allowed to view 10 photographs of the body of the victim, 51-year-old Karen Leclair, after it was recovered in Lake Erie near Dunkirk, New York, in July 2017.
Erie County President Judge John J. Trucilla ruled the photographs admissible at a hearing where the defense and prosecution hashed out details of what they may present at the trial, which is set to begin with jury selection on Monday.
Christopher Leclair, 49, was not present in court for the hearing.
Trucilla ruled that the prosecution may present photographs of Karen Leclair’s body, including bullet entry and exit wounds in her head and close-ups of rope and an anchor that were tied to her body.
Christopher Leclair’s court-appointed lawyer, Bruce Sandmeyer, did not object to some of the photographs, but he argued that the bullet-wound photographs could inflame the jury against Leclair and would not be necessary to demonstrate how the wounds occurred.
Trucilla found that the photos could be shown because they have strong evidentiary value.
He also ruled as admissible testimony from a prosecution witness who is expected to say that Leclair made a statement several years ago with a “level of specificity that is almost an overlay of the theory of the (prosecution’s) case,” Trucilla said.
The statement was so specific that it would “almost qualify as a signature,” Trucilla said.
Among other rulings made at the hearing, Trucilla also allowed testimony from a prosecution witness who is expected to testify that Leclair previously said, “Once the (expletive) is dead, I’ll be set for life.” The statement was made in September 2016, according to prosecutors.
Trucilla will rule later on a defense request to prohibit testimony from a prosecution witness about statements Leclair might have made about life insurance.
There is no evidence that Karen Leclair had life insurance, according to information…