Man Turns Down Plea Offer
September 20th, 2012
46-year old Thomas Lappin of Casco Township pleaded not guilty to killing his live-in girlfriend during his second plea hearing in circuit court yesterday. Lappin had previously pleaded not guilty during his original plea hearing in front of Circuit Judge James Adair last Friday. He faces charges of first-degree murder and felony firearm concerning the January death of Carrie Neusius. On Friday, Lappin asked for more time to consider a plea offer from the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office. Judge Adair had denied that request in court Friday, however Lappin was returned to court yesterday with a second chance to plead guilty. Trial is expected to begin Tuesday in front of Judge Adair. Police found Neusius dead Jan. 21 inside a home at 9275 Puttygut Road where she and Lappin lived. The woman appeared to have suffered blunt trauma injuries to her head, torso and extremities before dying from a gunshot wound to the head, according to County Medical Examiner Daniel Spitz. Lappin told a witness he had fired the gun to scare Neusius during an argument, after which he set down the gun, and she picked it up and shot herself.