Former faculty member charged with murder

Courtesy: Connecticut State Police

Courtesy: Connecticut State Police

A former Quinnipiac faculty member has turned himself into Connecticut State Police after a warrant for his arrest was put out, following an investigation into his wife’s death. He has been arrested and charged with murder as of June 9, but won’t go to trial until after a quick wedding party. 

Richard Commaille, a 70-year-old physician assistant, called the police on the night of April 6 reporting his wife had committed suicide. However, the state’s chief medical examiner ruled her death a homicide after investigating the gunshot wound. 

Commaille was released after paying a $500,000 bond and appearing for arraignment on Wednesday.

Defense attorney Edward Gavin said Commaille maintains his innocence and has cooperated with all of the state police’s requests, including giving up his weapons. 

“He immediately contacted 911 and made a five-page statement to police,” Gavin stated. “This is a forensic case and we are anxiously waiting to get a copy of the autopsy report and related records.”

Redding Police Chief Mark O’Donnell said the case began as an “untimely death investigation.” He then added that “some things didn’t make sense to first responding Redding officers” and the case was then flagged for further investigation.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner initially stated the cause of death was undetermined and we need to understand why that has changed,” said Gavin.

Commaille is not scheduled to teach at Quinnipiac in the fall after having a part-time position in the physician assistant program, according to John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations at Quinnipiac. Morgan declined to comment on whether he had been scheduled to teach before the investigation or charges. 

Before he virtually stands before the judge, Commaille has been given permission to go to his daughter’s wedding this weekend in Massachusetts. Danbury State’s Attorney, Stephen Sedensky III, did not object to Commaille leaving the state for the wedding, but ordered him to receive permission from the bail commissioner if he has any other plans to leave Connecticut. 

His case will continue on June 30th over video conference.