Raymond Clark III pled guilty this past Thursday to the murder and attempted sexual assault of Annie Le, a Yale graduate student who was found dead in a campus research building over 18 months ago.
According to the Yale Daily News, Clark previously pled not guilty at a January 2010 court hearing, but in light of the extensive DNA and physical evidence against him, Clark decided to strike a plea bargain with the prosecution.
He is likely to receive a 44-year prison sentence, according to the YDN.
Le, a 24-year-old doctoral student, was reported missing on Sept. 8, 2009, just five days before she was to be married. Her body was found five days later stuffed in a cavity of a research building basement.
A trail of evidence led authorities to Clark, an animal technician who worked in the same building as Le. Among the evidence compiled by police investigations was Clark’s pen, which was found underneath Le’s body. The ink was matched to the ink from the pen that Clark had used to sign in to work on the morning of Sept. 8, and the DNA on the cap matched Clark’s. He was arrested on Sept. 17, just nine days after Le was originally reported missing.
Clark will receive his final sentence at a court date tentatively scheduled for May 20. While there has been discussion as to whether or not a 44-year sentence is too lenient, according to the YDN the University “expressed relief” that the case would not be going to trial, saving Annie Le’s family from further pain that a trial might have caused.
—By Katie H. Sylvan, Contributing Writer