BELMONT — A preliminary hearing for the accused in the killing of a town of Clarksville couple is on the docket for today.
Allegany County Judge Terrence Parker will conduct the hearing at 10:30 a.m. this morning in the case against William J. Larson Jr., 17, who is accused of murdering his parents, William J. Larson Sr. and Lisa Lynn Larson, according to the chief court clerk for the county.
The teen, while not identified in the redacted complaints provided after a Freedom of Information Act request, but confirmed to be the subject of the documents by court staff, is facing two counts of second-degree murder, a class A-1 felony; and two counts of first-degree manslaughter, a class B felony. If convicted on the murder charges, he could face up to life in prison.
The Allegany County District Attorney’s Office could not comment on the case Monday afternoon. District Attorney Keith Slep and Assistant District Attorney Thomas Fuoco are handling the case, according to staff at the office. Larson’s defense attorney is unknown.
According to the felony complaints filed by Amity-based state police, Larson is accused of intentionally shooting his parents with a rifle in his family’s driveway off Courtney Hollow Road. In addition, troopers reported having a confession from Larson admitting to the murders.
The bodies were discovered around midnight on Thursday by firefighters after a 911 call reported a fire at the residence. The small fire, the cause of which is still under investigation, was confined to a portion of the log cabin-style residence. From the outside, the house looks relatively unscathed from the fire and firefighting efforts.
The elder William Larson, 67, and Lisa Larson, 49, were considered missing since early Thursday until New York State Police officially identified them Sunday as being the two people found dead in the home.
After the bodies were discovered, William J. Larson Jr., who firefighters placed at the scene on arrival, fled into the nearby woods. After an intensive manhunt, he was located around 5 p.m. by a state police patrol.
A neighbor told WGRZ-TV that the younger Larson had been exhibiting odd behavior in the days leading up to the fire at the home.
“He dropped out of school. He started staying up all night. He started sleeping in their vehicles instead of in the house,” neighbor Bruce Hitchcock said.
Larson was arraigned Thursday evening. He is currently being held in the Erie County Youth Services Center in lieu of $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond.
The DA’s office also sent out a press release asking media outlets to cease contacting families of the victims, who will be holding a memorial service this afternoon at an area funeral home.
“This is a very sensitive time for them and we ask that you respect their privacy,” the release states.