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The Telegram
  • Murder trial postponed in Old Forge shooting case

  • A former Rochester police captain who fatally shot his son in an Old Forge motel last summer has been given more time to prepare for trial.

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  • A former Rochester police captain who fatally shot his son in an Old Forge motel last summer has been given more time to prepare for trial.
    Michael Leach, 59, was due to begin jury selection in Herkimer County Court on Aug. 5, but on Tuesday a judge postponed the trial indefinitely at the request of Leach’s attorney to further consider their possible defense options.
    Although Leach’s attorney, Joseph Damelio, would not reveal the issues that are still being considered, he did say that no decision has been made yet whether a psychiatric defense will be argued at trial.
    “We’re continuing to investigate in light of some things we’ve received,” Damelio said after the proceeding. “We want to make sure we’ve investigated each and every corner of the (evidence) that’s been provided so far.”
    From the start, Leach has said he shot his 38-year-old son Matthew Leach after mistaking him for an intruder who had entered their dark room at the Clarks Beach Motel shortly before 1 a.m. on July 21, 2012.
    Michael Leach was charged with second-degree murder, however, because prosecutors said they believe Leach inten
    tionally shot another person to kill him without first determining who the person was.
    No new trial date has been scheduled yet.
    Leach and both sides are due back in court on Monday, Aug. 5, to report any progress and to possibly determine when a trial can reasonably take place.
    Although the prosecutor, Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter, took no position on Leach’s desire to postpone the trial, he did tell Judge John Crandall he still wanted the opportunity to oppose any future arguments Leach’s attorney might make.

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