Belfry murder suspect: “I wasn’t there, you need to find the real person”

Posted at 9:18 AM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-09 11:18:25-04

When he was first questioned about the murders of his wife, her sister, and brother-in-law at their home in Belfry, Robert "Jim" LeCou said he was out of town delivering a shed to his sister in Spokane.

LeCou, 40, was arrested in Spokane a few days after Karen LeCou, Sharon Lamb, and Lloyd Lamb were murdered in April of 2016.

During a recorded interview with detectives, LeCou denied responsibility.

“You need to find someone else, cause no,” said LeCou. “You need to find the real person.”

“I think we did,” responded Division of Criminal Investigation Agent Jon Sullivan.

Jurors watched the video where LeCou explained that he had left Belfry at noon on the day of the murders.

“What did you say to your wife?” asked Sullivan.

“I said ‘Goodbye. I love you,’ and I kissed her,” said LeCou, whose statement was contested at trial on Wednesday by his wife’s boss.

LeCou said he’d sent several text messages to his wife since he left and called her two or three times a day, but never heard back from her.

“I been trying to get a hold of her and figure out what the hell is going on,” said LeCou.

LeCou said he had left “around noon” to meet with his sister in Washington to sell her a shed.

LeCou told detectives he hadn’t consumed any alcohol on the day of the murder, despite surveillance footage and witnesses from a pair of bars in Belfry that placed him in the establishments in the late afternoon.

Investigators believe the murders were committed sometime around 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on April 5.

“I wasn’t there,” said LeCou repeatedly. “Why would I do that?”

Neighbors of the victims said they’d seen LeCou drive away in his wife’s prized black pickup truck on the night of the murder.

The family had previously removed firearms from the home because Lloyd Lamb, who was seriously ill, expressed interest in suicide.

But one pistol, Lloyd Lamb’s favorite gun, was never found.

LeCou told Sullivan that there had been two missing guns and that he’d found one and did target practice with his wife in the backyard.

Brandon Bureiss, the Lamb family’s handyman, testified that he observed LeCou doing target practice with a gun in the backyard by himself a few days before the murders.

“He asked if I could hear it,” Bureiss had testified earlier.

DCI Agent Mark Hilyard, the lead investigator on the case, testified Thursday that he found bloody footprints in the hallway where Karen LeCou had been dragged after she was shot.

Those same footprints were found on the carpet of the camper trailer that was parked outside of the victims’ home.

The shoe print did not match the tread on the size 12 pair of red wrestling shoes that LeCou was wearing when he was arrested.

Surveillance footage from gas stations where LeCou stopped on the drive to Spokane do not show him wearing the red shoes.

A blood spot matching Karen LeCou’s DNA was found under the brake pedal of her pickup truck.

A bullet was also found on the couch in the camper, according to Hilyard.

Defense attorneys raised concern during Hilyard’s testimony about possible contamination of the crimes scene.

Law enforcement who first entered the home did not where protective clothing, they said, because they were checking to see how many victims were in the home and whether they were alive.

Hilyard had also checked text messages and letters sent back and forth between LeCou and his wife.

He said there was no evidence of animosity or tension.

Empty boxes of 9 mm cartridges were found in the house, which matched the ones LeCou and his wife purchased together at Cabella’s about two weeks before the murders.


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