HERKIMER – A Western New York police officer has been charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of his son at an Adirondacks motel.
Michael Leach, 59, son of former Rochester Police Chief Delmar Leach, pleaded not guilty Wednesday during his arraignment in Herkimer County Court after a grand jury indictment was unsealed.
Leach told investigators he shot his 37-year-old son Matthew about 1 a.m. July 21, after mistaking him for an intruder while they were staying at Clark's Beach Motel in the Village of Old Forge.
Herkimer County District Attorney Jeff Carpenter would not comment on a motive or the evidence that led to the indictment.
Leach remained in the Herkimer County Jail Wednesday night on $200,000 bail.
The retired Rochester police captain is a part-time officer with the Perry Police Department in Wyoming County.
An officer who answered the phone Wednesday night at the Perry department declined to comment, but Perry Police Chief James Case issued a statement that said Leach “is under suspension by the village board.”
Leach made a 911 call right after shooting his son, state police said last year.
According to troopers, Leach used his police handgun in the shooting.
The Associated Press and News Staff Reporter Matt Gryta contributed to this report.