Taxpayers May Pay for William Walsh Defense

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeHomicideWilliam Walsh, Jr.Leah WalshJustice SystemDeath

A hearing will be held Wednesday to determine whether the Bethpage manaccused of killing his wife qualifies for a publicly funded lawyer.

William Walsh Jr. is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Leah Walsh, a special education teacher in Glen Cove.

Police said William Walsh strangled Leah Walsh, 29, faked her disappearance, and dumped her body.

was adjourned until Wednesdayso Walsh, also 29, could be screened to see if he can afford privatecounsel. Walsh's attorney said his client, a stockbroker trainee, hasno assets.

Family members of the defendant and the victim left the court without comment.

Walsh, who is being held without bail, faces 25 years to life in prisonif convicted. He is being held at the Nassau County jail, where he isundergoing psychiatric evaluation.

Leah Walsh's funeral was held Sunday.

Authorities said Walsh killed his wife early Sunday after returningfrom a trip to Atlantic City. The couple argued about William Walsh'salleged infidelity, they said.

William Walsh tossed his wife's body in a wooded area off the LongIsland Expressway in North Hills, tried to make it appear as if she hadbeen abducted and made emotional pleas for her return, police said.

Her body was discovered Wednesday and he was arrested in her slaying.

After Monday's brief hearing, Walsh's current attorney, Karl C. Seman,of Garden City, said police have no evidence that his client committedthe murder.

"Not a single strand of evidence has been produced that he's guilty," Seman said.Police have said Walsh confessed to the crime.

Seman has said Walsh's confession was coerced -- an assertion police have denied.


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