Accused killer causes big scene in Eau Claire County Court

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc (WEAU) - Accused killer Larry Fernandez went on a tirade in Eau Claire County Court on Thursday.

The Ladysmith man is charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of Frederick Brian Harvey of Eau Caire.

Fernandez was charged back in October for allegedly strangling Harvey.

Thursday in court during a hearing, Fernandez gave a loud outburst and insinuated he no longer wanted to deal with his current attorney, Peter Morin.

Fernandez said he believed Morin wasn't taking "best interest in his client" and that "he doesn't want to work for me."

Judge Lisa Stark took order in the court and removed Morin, upon Morin's request, as Fernandez's attorney.

The outburst happened after Judge Stark asked Fernandez about reading through a 3,000 page document that shows evidence in the case. That's when Fernandez retaliated, saying the document was being held in segments from him to prolong the case.

Fernandez also said he believed the court system was biased and prejudice against him and nonetheless, he's going to state his case.

The outburst spooked the victim's friends and family who were in attendance.

A new attorney will be assigned in the coming weeks, said Stark.

Fernandez faces life in prison if convicted.

See below for backstory.

(OCT 17, 2012)
EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - Following nearly two months of searching for a missing Eau Claire man, prosecutors charged his accused killer.

Larry Fernandez, 45, is now charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of Frederick Brian Harvey, 52.

Harvey was last seen alive Aug. 13. That's when a witness, Christopher Vingee said Fernandez strangled Harvey with a belt at Harvey's mobile home on Seymour Road, that he was buying from Fernandez.

"Vinge also stated that he observed Fernandez conceal Mr. Harvey's body and was present during the transport of the body into Rusk County," Eau Claire Police Chief Jerry Matysik said. "Police processed the site we located evidence which corroborated Vinge's story and linked Fernandez to the location."

According to the complaint when Vinge said he saw Fernandez strangling Harvey: "Vinge told Officer (Todd) Johnson that it was too late and that he thought Mr. Harvey was 'already gone' because Mr. Harey was not moving."

The witness said they both drank heavily, and that Fernandez said Harvey owed him money.

Unable to locate harvey's body, police said they arrested Fernandez Friday, and on Saturday Fernandez said Vinge killed Harvey and told police where to find his body.

"Eau Claire Police personnel and Wisconsin Department of Justice State Crime lab personnel excavated the site and located human remains believed to be those of Frederick Brian Harvey. An autopsy was recently conducted and the remains have been positively identified as Frederick Brian Harvey," Matysik said.

But police said the investigation is not over.

"Other people were aware of and involved in this crime by assisting fernandez in both concealing the body and helping to bury the body. This part of the investigation is still ongoing," Matysik said.

Fernandez faces life in prison if convicted. Tuesday in court, a judge scheduled his next court date for Oct. 30.

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(EAU CLAIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) - The Eau Claire Police Department would like to express sincere condolences to the family and friends of Frederick Brian Harvey for their loss.

On October 11, 2012 Eau Claire Police Department detectives arrested Larry Fernandez for the murder of Mr. Harvey.

The following information is a summary of the investigation to date:

• On August 28, 2012, the Eau Claire Police Department received a report from the family of Frederick Brian Harvey that they had not seen nor heard from him since August 7, 2012. The case was assigned to the Eau Claire Police Department Detective Division for follow-up investigation.

• Detectives conducted numerous interviews and obtained telephone and other records in an attempt to locate Mr. Harvey. Through this investigation it was determined that the last confirmed public sighting of Mr. Harvey was at a local convenience store on August 13, 2012.

• The Eau Claire Police Department Crime Scene Unit also conducted a search of Mr. Harvey’s residence and collected physical evidence for forensic examination. Additional searches have also been performed.

• On October 10, 2012, an Eau Claire Police Department detective interviewed Christopher Vinge who revealed that he witnessed the homicide of Mr. Harvey. The homicide occurred on August 13, 2012 at Mr. Harvey’s home, 3626 Seymour Road, Lot 71. Vinge explained that Harvey and Fernandez had been arguing over money and that Fernandez strangled Mr. Harvey with a belt, causing his death. Vinge also stated that he observed Fernandez conceal Mr. Harvey’s body and was present during the transport of the body into Rusk County. Vinge pointed out a site where Fernandez initially planned to bury the body. Fernandez selected a grave site and although this sight was not ultimately used as the burial site, when police processed the site we located evidence which corroborated Vinge’s story and linked Fernandez to the location.

• On October 11, 2012, the Eau Claire Police Department, along with assistance from Barron County Sheriff’s Office, Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office, Ladysmith Police Department, and Rusk County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the residence of Larry Fernandez in Ladysmith, WI. Larry Fernandez was questioned and later arrested for the death of Frederick Brian Harvey.

• At about the same time the search warrant was being executed at the Fernandez residence, Eau Claire Police (with assistance of the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office and the West Central Drug Task Force) executed search warrants in Rusk County looking for Mr. Harvey’s remains. We obtained assistance in our attempt to locate Mr. Harvey’s remains from a Madison Police Department cadaver dog handler.

• On October 12, 2012, Larry Fernandez admitted to involvement in this crime and told officers exactly where Mr. Harvey’s remains were located in Rusk County. Eau Claire Police requested assistance from the State Crime Lab to help excavate the burial site.

• On October 15, 2012, Eau Claire Police personnel and Wisconsin Department of Justice State Crime Lab personnel excavated the site and located human remains believed to be those of Frederick Brian Harvey. An autopsy was recently conducted and the remains have been positively identified as Frederick Brian Harvey.

• Other people were aware of and involved in this crime by assisting Fernandez in both concealing the body and helping to bury the body. This part of the investigation is still ongoing.

The Eau Claire Police Department would like to thank the following people and organizations for their assistance with this investigation:

• Ladysmith Police Department
• Rusk County Sheriff’s Office
• Barron County Sheriff’s Office
• Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office
• Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office
• West Central Drug Task Force
• Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
• Wisconsin Department of Justice State Crime Lab
• Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office.
• Officer Carren Corcoran, cadaver dog handler (Madison Police Department)
• And finally, I want to thank the men and women of the Eau Claire Police Department.

As I am sure you are aware this has been a difficult past two weeks, with our department being involved in several major investigations at the same time. I am very proud of the competence, professionalism and dedication of the members of this police department. They are exceptional public servants who care deeply about the citizens in this community and who work tirelessly to keep our community safe.

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis (WEAU) - Eau Claire police released more information on a homicide investigation.

Fredrick "Brian" Harvey went missing earlier this summer.

Police now say Larry Fernandez of Ladysmith killed him.

Fernandez is charged with first degree murder.

Tuesday, police held a news conference and revealed how Harvey was killed.

A witness said he was strangled with a belt.

At first, investigators were not able to find Harvey, but Fernandez later told them where to find the body.

Police believe Harvey was killed at his home in Eau Claire with his body later being transported to Rusk County where it was later found.

Police say other people may be involved.

Fernandez was due in court later Tuesday.

Watch WEAU 13 News and stay with WEAU.com for further updates through the day.

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EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - Police plan on releasing more information in the murder of an Eau Claire man.

Tuesday, the Eau Claire Police Department plans to hold a news conference at 2:00 p.m. on the murder of Fredrick "Brian" Harvey. On Friday, officers arrested Larry Fernandez of Ladysmith for first degree intentional homicide in connection to Harvey’s disappearance.

We will have a crew at the news conference Tuesday and will bring you the latest on-air on WEAU 13 News and here on WEAU.com.

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EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - Friends of Frederick Brian Harvey said he was making payments to buy his mobile home from accused killer Larry Fernandez and that the two knew each other for decades.

Police arrested Larry Fernandez of Ladysmith Friday in connection with the disappearance of Harvey.

Harvey, who last seen on August 13, at a convenience store, was reported missing by family Aug. 28.

Police said after investigating several leads, the case took a twist.

Friday Fernandez was arrested and booked in jail for First Degree Intentional Homicide, with bail set at $1 million.

"It was a bummer, I was down, mind always racing, like trying to put a puzzle together," "Brian" Harvey's friend of 22 years and former roommate Jason Champagne said about the disappearance.

"Brian's not the type of person just to get up and leave town or anything like that. He's not like that, because he's got good friends here, he's got family." Champagne said.

With Harvey missing for the past two months, Champagne said he knew who had to be involved.

"I knew Larry (Fernandez) had something to do with it. Because Brian told me a few months ago, that if anything did ever happen to him, that Larry is the cause. Larry did it.," he said.

Harvey lived at the Terrace Hill Mobile Home Park, where its manager said he had just made his last payment for his home to his now-suspected killer Larry Fernandez.

Champagne said harvey bought this mobile home and a car from Fernandez, and the two knew eachother for about 20 years.

Champagne said he told police about Fernandez's possible connection to the case.

"I felt uncomfortable around Larry ... You meet somebody for the first time and that's the last time you see that person because you don't want to make friends with him or whatever. That's how I felt about Larry."

Police have not yet said if Harvey's body was found, or exactly what Fernandez did, only that the crime happened in Eau Claire.

"It was shock, it's a big relief now off my back now that they got Larry, he did have some involvement in Brian's disappearance and everything, and I'm just glad that they got him, that they got Larry."

Saturday Champagne sat, waiting for answers.

"I'd like to know where (Harvey's body is), so he can be laid to rest and everything. Have a wake and a funeral and everything for him."

The Rusk County Sheriff said a body found on railroad tracks in Ladysmith, does not appear to be related to the case.

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Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- Eau Claire Police say a man has been arrested for murder in connection with a missing person.

Police say Larry Fernandez of Ladysmith has been arrested. He has been booked into the Eau Claire County Jail for First Degree Intentional Homicide with bail set at $1 million dollars.

Police say he is a suspect in the murder of Fredrick Brian Harvey. Harvey was reported missing back on August 28th, but police say after many leads, the investigation took a new turn.

Police say Harvey was last seen at a convenience store back in mid-August.

Rusk County Sheriff David Kaminski says it is unknown right now if a body found in Ladysmith is Fredrick Harvey. He says they are working to identify who that person was.

Stay with WEAU 13 News and WEAU.com for further updates to this story as we get them.

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PRESS RELEASE FROM EAU CLAIRE POLICE DEPARTMENT:

On August 28, 2012, the Eau Claire Police Department received a report that Frederick Brian Harvey had not had contact with his family since August 7, 2012. This report was assigned to the Eau Claire Police Department Detective Division for investigation as an active Missing Person case.

Frederick Brian Harvey
DOB: 08/06/1960

Since the original report, the Eau Claire Police Department Detective Division received numerous leads that were actively investigated regarding this matter. Through this investigation, it was determined that the last confirmed public sighting of Mr. Harvey was at a local convenience store on August 13, 2012.

Subsequently, the Eau Claire Police Department’s investigation revealed that this case involved the homicide of Mr. Harvey. A suspect in this case has been arrested for the death of Frederick Brian Harvey. The suspect has been identified as:

Larry Fernandez

This case remains under investigation and additional details cannot be released at this time. The Eau Claire Police Department is requesting anyone with information about this case please contact Detective Sergeant Mark Pieper at 715-839-6217.

Media inquiries should be directed to:
Kyle Roder
Community Relations Officer
Eau Claire Police Department
715-839-2910


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