Punishment for murder without a body? Local lawyers weigh in | ABC6

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE)– Brian Walshe, the husband of missing Ana Walshe’s mother, has been charged with murder. But how can you convict someone of murder without a body?

Professor Andrew Horwitz, Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at Roger Williams University, said that a body is not required for a conviction – but the incident is rare.

“You need to put together physical evidence that can explain both what could be and why there is no body – we don’t get to the point of reasonable doubt,” said Horwitz.

Brian Walshe has pleaded not guilty to the charges. But prosecutors and Horwitz say the evidence is overwhelming against him.

Investigators say they found a bloody knife in the family’s basement, ten bags of evidence at a transfer station in Peabody, criminal Internet searches and more.

Google searches include, “10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to,” and “How to clean blood off a hardwood floor.”

“Google searches definitely look bad,” Horwitz added. “So, you have to come up with, ‘What is the other world and what is the other scenario that one might do with this kind of quest’ – other than, ‘I killed my wife and I have to figure out what to do with it. the body.'”

Other evidence includes $450 that Brian Walshe allegedly bought for cleaning supplies, a saw and a crowbar associated with Brian.

Horwitz said the defense could go one of two ways.

“Things like, ‘A lot of Google searches were thought provoking. A man thought about doing this to his wife, but the truth is he didn’t.’ Or ‘The truth is that the wife is missing or is he trying to find ways to find her.'”

He concluded, “Can a case of murder be proven without a dead body? Yes. The answer is very clear – an undeniable yes.”

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