Ernest LeClair’s council asks to enroll him in program that would expunge record

Local News

A man accused with hiding his son’s murder weapon is now asking for his criminal case to be dropped.

76-year-old Ernest LeClair is charged with tampering with evidence after, investigators say, he hid the gun his son, Christopher LeClair, used to murder his wife.

Christopher LeClair was convicted of first-degree murder last month.  Now, Ernest LeClair is asking to be considered for Erie County’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program.  The program is primarily for non-violent, first-time offenders. 

Chief Public Defender Pat Kennedy tells us, “You want to complete the program because your record is automatically expunged as to that charge if you’ve paid everything; if you’ve done everything that probation asks…” 

Tim George, of Purchase, George, and Murphy P.C. tells us, “If they are discharged from ARD, then the case is scheduled for trial and they have to defend the allegations, just as if they were never admitted into the program to begin.” 

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office determines who is eligible for ARD.  The District Attorney says, typically, it will take at least 30 days to reach a decision.

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