1st-degree murder conviction sought in wife’s lake death

ERIE, Pa. — Prosecutors plan to seek a first-degree murder conviction against a man accused of shooting his wife and tossing her into Lake Erie and then reporting she’d accidentally fallen overboard from his commercial fishing boat.

Prosecutors in Pennsylvania’s Erie County say Christopher Leclair reported Karen Leclair missing June 11 but dock surveillance images showed the two leaving and him returning alone. Authorities say her body was found in July with an anchor attached to the torso. An autopsy indicated she had been shot in the head.

Leclair was arraigned Tuesday on charges including criminal homicide, aggravated assault, abuse of a corpse, evidence tampering and false reports in his wife’s death.

Defense attorney Bruce Sandmeyer has said Leclair asserts his innocence. He says the trial may be held in April.

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