The commercial fisherman charged with killing his wife and throwing her body in Lake Erie, is now asking to have his case dismissed in Erie County.
It's one of several requests that have been filed in a motion, on behalf of 48-year-old Christopher Leclair.
Leclair's lawyer Bruce Sandmeyer is arguing that the Erie County District Attorney's Office has not established where the defendant's wife, Karen Leclair, was killed.
Leclair is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and abuse of a corpse in connection to his wife's death.
On June 10, 2017, investigators say Christopher shot Karen in the head, bound her body to an anchor, and threw her into Lake Erie from their commercial fishing vessel, the Doris M.
According to police, Leclair returned to his dock alone, went back out onto Lake Erie the next day, and reported that Karen had fallen overboard.
Her body was found in Lake Erie on July 4, about six miles off of the shore of Dunkirk, New York.
In the motion, Sandmeyer says that the Commonwealth has not established that an offense has occurred in Pennsylvania.
“In this case the Commonwealth alleges that the defendant killed the victim in the waters of Lake Erie and that the body of the victim washed up on the shores of Lake Erie in New York State,” said Sandmeyer, in the motion. “Defendant contends that the Commonwealth has not established that an offense has occurred in Pennsylvania and therefore giving this Court subject-matter jurisdiction.”
If the case moves forward in Erie, Sandmeyer also asked for a change of venue.
“The defense moves this Court for a change of venue due to the overwhelming local, national and international press that this case has received,” said Sandmeyer, in the motion. “The overwhelming pretrial publicity prevents the defendant from even the possibility of securing a fair and impartial jury from Erie County or Northwest Pennsylvania.”
The Erie County District Attorney's Office now has 10 days to respond to the motion.