NORWELL, Mass. – There is a possibility Brian Walshe’s murder case in Massachusetts could end up in federal court if investigators determine his motive is linked to his state art fraud scam, a local criminal defense attorney said.
At the conclusion of Walshe’s arraignment in court in Quincy, Massachusetts, Wednesday morning, prosecutors hinted at a possible motive for the alleged murder of his wife Ana Walshe when they said Brian allegedly Googled, “What’s the best state to divorce for a man?” on December 27th.
But why the convicted art fraudster allegedly beat his wife to death hasn’t been definitively established, leading Massachusetts criminal defense attorney Nate Amendola to speculate it could end up in federal court.
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Walshe was under house arrest and facing probation for selling counterfeit Andy Warhol paintings and was under investigation for allegedly destroying and stealing from his father’s will.
“I don’t think the federal authorities have dropped this and are closely watching this case,” Amendola told Fox News Digital Wednesday night. “It all depends on his motive. If he killed her, assuming he killed her because she knew about the art fraud or his father’s will and he wanted to stop her from speaking, that becomes a federal matter.”
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There are no federal murder charges; it must be a homicide related to another federal crime, such as B. Extortion, or in this hypothetical situation, witness tampering, which carries the penalty of life imprisonment and the death penalty.
According to court records, there have been no updates on Walshe’s federal case since his arrest on Jan. 8. The US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts declined to comment Thursday when asked about Walshe’s murder.
Brian Walshe, 47, has been charged with murder, improper transport of a body and misleading police investigations in connection with the alleged death of 39-year-old Ana Walshe.
The mother-of-three and property manager has not been seen since January 1.
Brian’s attorney, Tracy Miner, said in a statement that she will fight the charges in court and not in the media.
“It’s easy to charge a crime, and even easier to say that a person committed that crime. It’s a lot harder to prove, which we’ll see when prosecutors are able to do that,” Miner, who questioned the evidence mentioned, said in court Wednesday.
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“In my experience, where, like here, prosecutors leak so-called evidence to the press before they make it available to me, their case isn’t as strong,” Miner said.
“If they have a strong case, they give me everything as soon as possible. We will see what they have and what evidence will be admissible in court, where the case will ultimately be decided.”
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A plea of not guilty has been filed for Brian and he has been held without bail and is scheduled to return to court on February 9.