BELMONT — A grand jury is scheduled to finally hear evidence next month against a town of Clarksville teen accused of killing his parents in November.
Grand jury presentment by prosecutors against William J. Larson Jr. is set for Feb. 5, after being originally scheduled for mid-December, according to the county court clerk’s office.
On Friday, state Supreme Court Judge Terrence Parker granted a motion for the prosecution to subpoena Larson’s records from the Olean Counseling Center, while also granting permission for the Allegany County Public Defender’s Office to visit the home on Courtney Hollow Road to take measurements and descriptions of the scene — but not to record video or still images.
The next court date was set for 11 a.m. Feb. 24, at which time, if the grand jury has made an indictment, the indictment will be handed up and Larson arraigned. If the grand jury does not indict, Larson is expected to be freed.
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.
Larson currently faces two counts of second-degree murder, a class A-1 felony; and two counts of first-degree manslaughter, a class B felony, for the deaths of William Larson Sr., 67, and Lisa Larson, 49.
In a press release issued Friday morning, Public Defender Barbara Kelley announced her office is planning “a fair and just defense for Billy,” referring to Larson.
“We understand that numerous reports of our client’s situation and activities have been published by news outlets and on social media, but we ask the public to afford Billy the presumption of innocence and let the facts unfold in a court of law,” she said. “However, if you are familiar with the family and have information relevant to his defense, please contact us at (585) 268-9246.”
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 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.
Firefighters were called to the scene at around 11:40 p.m. Nov. 20 for a structure fire at the address. Upon arrival, firefighters were greeted by someone identified as Larson, who attempted to block access to the structure. West Clarksville and Portville firefighters entered the building to rescue the individuals and fight the blaze, which was confined to one room of the residence.
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.
Larson was picked up just before 5 p.m. by a trooper on patrol, and he was charged at 8:22 p.m. that evening.