SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Jury selection is slated to begin today in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing his wife whose body was found in Tolland, Mass., in 1995.
Connecticut authorities are waiting for the outcome of the trial to serve Robert Honsch, 73, with an arrest warrant charging him with the murder of his 17-year-old daughter, whose body was found near a dumpster in New Britain, also in 1995.
For nearly two decades, New Britain police and Massachusetts State Police worked to identify the women. But it wasn’t until family members sought the help of the New York State Police in June 2014 after being in contact with Honsch’s current wife, Sheryl Tyree, that their identities were confirmed.
He was charged with Marcia Honsch’s murder a short while later.
Found dead from a gunshot wound to her head in late September 1995, 17-year-old Elizabeth Honsch had been wrapped in two sleeping bags and some garbage bags near a dumpster behind a Hartford Road plaza in New Britain. The decomposing body of her mother, Marcia, 53, was found about eight days later at a campground in Tolland, Mass. She, too, had been shot in the head.
A search warrant indicates both women were shot elsewhere and dumped where they were found.
Honsch is being held without bond in Massachusetts. Jury selection in his murder trial will start this morning in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield, Mass.
A representative of the District Attorney’s Office couldn’t comment on how long jury selection would take or when the trial would start. New Britain officials said Tuesday that Honsch will be charged with the murder of his daughter when the Massachusetts case is completed.
Although he has not been formally served with an arrest warrant from New Britain police, Massachusetts authorities will detain Honsch for the state of Connecticut even if he is found not guilty of his wife’s murder. If he is found not guilty, New Britain authorities will seek his extradition to Connecticut, New Britain State’s Attorney Brian Preleski said.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.