The prosecution of Eric Lau on charges of murdering his Clarkstown neighbor — gym teacher Jami Erlich — was adjourned again this morning in state Supreme Court in the Rockland Courthouse in New City.
Lau, 33, must appear again in court before Justice William Kelly on July 28.
The defense and prosecution are awaiting the judge’s decisions on pretrial motions. A trial date could be set on July 28.
Lau is charged with murdering Erlich on Nov. 29 inside her home at Lake Road Condominiums in Valley Cottage.
Erlich was talking with a boyfriend on the telephone when she was attacked. She was found with her throat slashed and her skull fractured.
Lau has pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree burglary. The Rockland District Attorney’s Office has offered Lau the maximum sentence of 25 years to life to plead guilty. Lau’s being held in the county jail in lieu of $2.5 million bail. He also faces assault charges on accusations of attacking a correction officer.
Erlich, a popular gym teacher at Richard P. Connor Elementary School in Suffern, was talking to her boyfriend on her cell phone when she was attacked.
Erlich’s friends told The Journal News that she called Lau her “creepy neighbor” and that he had persistently called her to ask her out on dates. She moved into the complex in July, a few months before her divorce became final, and lived alone. Lau had lived there for more than a decade.
Authorities said they found some of Erlich’s belongings in his apartment.
Lau is contemplating a psychiatric defense.
He has a history of violence.
At age 16, Lau was placed through the state in David Hall, a 14-bed special residential treatment facility for teenage boys with psychiatric illnesses at Green Chimneys in Putnam County. At some point, Lau, then 18, was expelled from Clarkstown South High School for assaulting a 16-year-old student in November 1996.
Lau, at age 19, was convicted of the attempted robbery of three Albertus Magnus students. He punched one of the victims in the face.
He is being represented by attorney Bruce Klein from the Bronx. The prosecutor is Executive Assistant District Attorney Stephen Moore.
Upper Right Photo: Eric Lau
Upper Left Photo: Jami Erlich