By ALAINE GRIFFIN, email@example.com
The Hartford Courant
6:10 PM EST, December 13, 2010
NEW LONDON — Closing arguments are expected today in the murder trial of the husband of a Mystic schoolteacher who was found dead in her home two days after being abducted by a handyman.
Prosecutors say Charles Buck, 64, killed his wife, Leslie, in May 2002 so he could marry his younger barmaid mistress. Leslie Buck, 57, a popular second-grade teacher at Deans Mill School in Stonington, was found unresponsive at the bottom of a staircase in the couple's Mason's Island Road home on May 4, 2002.
Police say Buck struck his wife in the head with a heavy length of electrical wire.
Two days before she died, Leslie Buck escaped from a kidnapper who used a stun gun to subdue her at her home. The kidnapper, Russell Kirby, a friend of her husband's who had also worked for him, tied her hands and feet and forced her into a car. She escaped and called police. Kirby, who was immediately arrested, is serving a 21-year prison sentence for the attack and abduction.
Charles Buck was arrested and charged with his wife's slaying in January 2009, nearly seven years after Leslie Buck's death. Buck denies killing his wife, and his attorneys maintain that Leslie Buck had a heart problem that caused her death.
Buck is being tried in Superior Court before a three-judge panel. Before the trial began last month, he posted $1.5 million bail and was released from jail.
Court records say Buck asked his mistress to go away with him on the day his wife died and gave police inconsistent accounts of his whereabouts that day. Authorities say Buck lavished the other woman with cash and expensive gifts.
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