CLARKSVILLE, N.Y. — An Allegany County teen is being charged with murder and manslaughter in connection with two suspicious deaths.
William J. Larson, Jr., 17, of Clarksville is charged with two counts of 2nd degree murder and two counts 1st degree manslaughter.
The victims are presumed to be his parents, William Larson Sr. and his wife Lisa, according to a neighbor who was questioned by law enforcement officials, and who rented his house from the Larsons, who lived about a quarter mile up the road.
According to the criminal complaint, which has redacted names, the defendant shot the victims with a rifle. The victims were shot November 5 in the driveway of the Cortney Hollow Road home. (see report below)
The neighbor described the teen as a normally polite and helpful teen who seemed to change over the last few weeks, and his mother seemed worried.
“He dropped out of school. He started staying up all night. He started sleeping in their vehicles instead of in the house," neighbor Bruce Hitchcock said. "That’s what she was telling me, that she would come out sometimes at 5 or 6 in the morning to go to work, and she would find him sleeping in the truck or whatever, and just odd behavior like that."
Larson was the subject of a several hours-long search in Allegany County after two bodies were discovered in a Clarksville home following a reported fire early Thursday.
State Police still have not identified the bodies, or the cause the death.
The fire occurred in a single-family home at 8472 Courtney Hollow Road around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Chief Mike Hayward. State Police confirm the home that was involved in the overnight fire was indeed Larson’s home.
Police say Larson was identified on scene while the fire was being extinguished, but left the scene before State Police arrived.
Larson was arraigned Thursday evening. He is currently being held in the Erie County Youth Services Center on $50,000 cash bail/$100,000 bond.
Attorney Tom Eoannou weighed in on the likelihood Larson could be tried as a juvenile.
He said, "Under the murder statute you cannot be adjudicated a youthful offender. Under the manslaughter statute, you can. However, that sentence, once you're adjudicated youthful offender, it maxes as one in a third to four years, so I don't think Y.O. is in the equation."