Former Rochester police captain Michael Leach, 59, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the July 2012 shooting death of his son in Herkimer County. / Provided by New York State Police
Written by Victoria E. Freile, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
A retired Rochester Police Department captain and Perry Police officer who last year told police he accidentally shot his son in a Herkimer County motel room has been indicted on murder charges.
Michael Leach, 59, of Rochester, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both felonies, according to Herkimer County Court records. Leach pleaded not guilty to after an indictment was unsealed Wednesday morning in Herkimer County Court.
Leach is accused of killing his son Matthew S. Leach, 37, just before 1 a.m. July 21, 2012, as the younger Leach returned to the motel room in Old Forge, according to New York State Police. Emergency responders went to the Clark Beach Motel room after the elder Leach called 911 to say he shot what he thought was an intruder.
Michael Leach, who was a part-time police officer in Perry, Wyoming County, when the shooting occurred, is accused of shooting his son with his department issued-handgun, troopers said.
Perry Village Police Department officials said Michael Leach's status remains unchanged, "he is under suspension by the village board," according to a statement from Perry Police Chief James Case.
Michael Leach is the son of former Rochester Police Chief Delmar Leach, who served from 1981-85.
Michael Leach was remanded to the Herkimer County Jail in lieu of $200,000 cash bail or bond. He is expected to return to court on April 5.
Further details of the charges were not released.
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle