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Friday, 25 July 2008

Leslie Williams shot Carol Larese and sexually assaulted and killed her friend Mary Ellen Welsh

Leslie Williams shot Carol Larese, 66, and sexually assaulted and killed her friend Mary Ellen Welsh, 62, in a March 30 home invasion, he stole a handgun during a daytime break-in at an Esther Street home.
Williams was arrested again Thursday minutes before his appearance in New Britain Superior Court - this time on burglary and gun-theft charges - after he admitted to city police he was the culprit who broke into a home and took a gun and Stop & Shop gift cards.
Under a judge's gag order, police, prosecutors and his attorney can't comment on whether they think the stolen gun was the weapon that killed Welsh and seriously wounded Larese.
The warrant said the weapon used in the shootings and the .32-caliber Keltec pistol stolen from the Esther Street home have not been found. Police did find shell casings and spent bullets at Larese's home and at the Bristol sand pit where Welsh's body was discovered, earlier warrants said.
Williams has been held without bond since April, when he was charged with two counts of capital felony for Welsh's death. He's also facing a slew of charges including murder, first-degree assault and first-degree sexual assault in connection with the attacks on the women, which he is accused of engaging in while trying to rob both at Larese's home. He could face the death penalty if convicted of the capital felony charges.
Probation officials said at the time of Williams' arrest March 31 that he had been on track with the strict guidelines of release from prison, including reporting for scheduled visits and filling out his resume and job applications.
He stayed at two Hartford homeless shelters before he vanished March 27, three weeks after his release from prison after serving eight years for raping a child.
By the time authorities caught him three days later, in Welsh's car, Welsh was dead and Larese had been shot in the head and hand. Larese is recovering.
During his latest appearance Thursday, Judge Joan K. Alexander ordered that several items of women's jewelry are to be photographed as evidence and returned to their rightful owners by Aug. 27. She didn't specify who owned the jewelry.
Williams is also charged with an Avon burglary - in which police say he stole a car that ran out of gas near Larese's home the night before the home invasion - and with several motor-vehicle charges for a chase after police say they spotted him in Welsh's car.
Much of Williams' comments to police about Welsh's death have been barred from the public while Williams' public defender, David Smith, of the state's Chief Public Defender's Office Capital Felony Unit, considers challenging their constitutionality.
But the warrant served Thursday said Williams admitted to police that he broke into a house March 27 that might have been in Plainville. An Esther Street couple - whose house is three-tenths of a mile from the Plainville line - reported that same day that someone had broken in through a bedroom window and stolen items from their home, including an unloaded Keltec pistol in a blue pouch and a loaded magazine.
Police were able to collect blood droplets believed to have been left by the burglar, who was cut during the break-in, but the samples haven't been analyzed yet by the state Forensic Lab, the warrant said.
Other items stolen from the home included a cell phone, a DVD player, a Gucci watch and a silver charm bracelet - all found in Welsh's car when Williams was taken into custody Match 30, the warrant said.
The blue nylon pouch in which the Keltec pistol was stored was also found in the car and identified by family members. Because of the gag order, Smith said he couldn't comment on the most recent charges.
After a brief appearance Thursday on the prior murder and assault charges, Williams was brought back in to the courtroom for his arraignment on the burglary and gun-theft arrest. Alexander entered a plea of not guilty on the most recent charges and scheduled Williams to be back in court Sept. 18, when Thursday's arrest will be transferred to the felony-level court with his other cases.



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