L.I. Man Pleads Guilty to Strangling His Wife

William Walsh tried to cover-up the murder of his wife by making it look like a roadside incident

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    The husband of Long Island teacher Leah Walsh was arrested and charged with the 29-year-old's murder hours after her body was found in a wooded area 13 miles from her home, cops said.

    William Walsh stood handcuffed, with the parents of his dead wife Leah watching behind him.

    "I didn't want anything like this to happen," said Walsh, 31, in a soft voice. "Truly I am sorry for everything."

    With that, the Bethpage man pleaded guilty to strangling his wife, Leah in October, 2008.

    Walsh himself insisted on pleading guilty, said his lawyer William Petrillo.

    "He wanted to spare his wife's family the pain of re-living the case at trial," Petrillo said.

    In return for his guilty plea to a charge of second degree murder, Walsh's prison sentence is expected to be reduced to eighteen years to life.

    "I hope this plea brings Leah's family some comfort," said prosecutor Michael Walsh.

    Her parents and brother had no comment as they left court.  They were wearing a pin with Leah's photo.

    That fateful October night began, Walsh admitted, with a "physical confrontation" with his wife after he returned from a trip to Atlantic City. They argued over his "alleged affair" with another woman, said Walsh, who added that he had been drinking and smoking pot prior to his arrival home.

    After "taking Leah in a chokehold" and strangling her,  Walsh told the judge, he tried to "cover up" the crime.

    Walsh abandoned his wife's car along the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway, prosecutors said, and later tearfully told news reporters he believed she had been abducted.

    But a witness spotted his car near where his wife's car was found and that led to his arrest. Leah Walsh's body had been dumped in a wooded area along the Long Island Expressway in North Hills.

    Prior to disposing of the body, Walsh spent the day at the gym, prosecutors said, and then stabbed her in the neck; another attempt to mislead investigators. In the end, Walsh couldn't escape the law.

    "Was it your intention to kill your wife?" the prosecutor asked Walsh.

    "Yes," said the defendant.

    He will be sentenced June 23.