GUILTY PLEA IN KILLING OF VALLEY COTTAGE TEACHER

Eric Lau, (DOB 11/17/77) of One Church Lane, Apartment 1-F, Valley Cottage, New York has admitted to murdering his former neighbor Jami Erlich. He pled guilty to the top count of the indictment against him; one count of Murder in the Second Degree, a class “A” Felony, and faces 22 years to life in prison.

Lau agreed that on November 29, 2009 at approximately 9:30 p.m., he entered and remained unlawfully in the victim’s townhouse unit with the intent to commit and cause the murder of the popular elementary school physical education teacher. The defendant then eluded law enforcement officials for nearly 48 hours following the commission of the crime. Lau was taken into custody by Clarkstown Police on Lansdale Drive in New City at about 7:30 p.m. December 1, 2009.

The defendant will be officially sentenced on June 22, 2012 and remains remanded at the Rockland County Jail. Executive Assistant District Attorney Stephen Moore and Supervising Assistant District Attorney Dominic Crispino prosecuted the case. District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said Erlich’s family was agreeable to the 22 year sentence, down from the maximum 25, in return for the guilty plea.

It has been noted that murderers are not usually released after their first few parole hearings, so the 22 year sentence will more likely be closer to 30 years or longer.