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Toys R Us murder suspect scheduled for arraignment

HAMBURG — The Sun has learned that Toys R Us murder suspect Bernard “Bernie” Grucza will be arraigned in the New York State Supreme Court at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18.

Grucza, a Toys R Us regional manager, is accused of murdering Laurence “Larry” Wells, a Toys R Us assistant manager at the Hamburg store.

Grucza, 38, was indicted on a charge of second degree murder in the stabbing death of Wells at the Toys R Us store on McKinley Parkway on June 29. The homicide remained unsolved until Hamburg police made an arrest on Oct. 16, ending a 16-week murder investigation.

Police said they believe Wells came upon Grucza in the Hamburg store, during the course of a robbery, and that the stabbing then ensued. Video surveillance cameras recorded a man entering the store with a knife in his hand, but the video was too grainy to make an positive identification.

Police had to resort to DNA evidence found on a hat left by the suspect at the scene.

This will be Grucza’s first appearance on the murder indictment handed down by an Erie County Grand Jury in October. Grucza is represented by Attorney Frank Housh and will appear before the Hon. Penny Wolfgang.

He is being held without bail in the Erie County Holding Center.

Grucza is also charged with violating an order of protection in the town of Elma for making telephone calls to his wife, while in the holding center. He is due back in Elma Court on that charge on Nov. 25.

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2013-11-15 | 16:30:32
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