BELMONT, N.Y. — A grand jury has decided there is enough evidence to try a Clarksville teen for the November murder of his parents.
The Allegany County District Attorney’s Office reported Thursday afternoon that a grand jury handed up indictments in Allegany County Court against William J. Larson Jr., 17, for two counts of second-degree murder, a class A-1 felony; third-degree attempted arson, a class D felony; two counts of concealment of a human corpse, a class E felony; and three counts of tampering with physical evidence, a class E felony.
Larson is accused of murdering his parents, William Larson Sr., 67, and Lisa Larson, 49, on Nov. 5. On Nov. 21, prosecutors said the younger Larson lit a fire on a pool table in an attempt to cover up the deaths, later fleeing from law enforcement after firefighters discovered the bodies.
At a preliminary hearing in November, it was revealed that in a videotaped interview between Larson and New York State Police investigators Larson confessed to killing his father, Larson Sr., but he claimed the elder Larson killed Lisa Larson in the family home on Courtney Hollow Road in the town of Clarksville near Obi.
In the recording, which had distorted audio that was difficult to hear at times, Larson said he was awakened Nov. 5 by his father “ripping the door off” of his bedroom. At that time, Larson said his father was high on methamphetamines and had already killed Lisa Larson.
With the elder Larson attempting to leave in a green Chevrolet Blazer with a box of family valuables, the son claimed he fired a warning shot at the vehicle, striking the dashboard and windshield. He said he then fired a second shot, killing his father.
The preliminary autopsy report for the elder William Larson indicates he was shot in the torso, as well as stabbed in the right lower chest, the middle of the left side of the chest and in the left flank. The cause of death was listed as multiple injuries. The report for Lisa Lawson indicates she died from a single stab wound to the left side of her chest, which severed the pulmonary artery and aorta. She was also shot in the right leg.
Following the discovery of the bodies and contact with law enforcement by firefighters, Larson reportedly fled into the woods on foot. A manhunt, lasting until nightfall, involved dozens of state troopers, tactical teams, environmental conservation officers and forest rangers. Various techniques were used in the search, including K-9 units, a helicopter with infrared imaging equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles. Just before dark, Larson was picked up walking along a nearby road and was charged a few hours later.
Prosecuting the case is a team from the Allegany County District Attorney’s Office, led by Assistant District Attorney Thomas Fuoco. Representing the teen is a team from the Allegany County Public Defender’s Office, led by Assistant Public Defender J.R. Carter.
Originally, prosecutors expected to present the case to the grand jury in December, but were delayed for almost two months.
Larson’s arraignment on the indictments is set for Feb. 24.