Brian Walshe appears in court on murder charge

By Mike Hayes, Aditi Sangal and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 8:31 p.m. ET, January 18, 2023
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10:49 a.m. ET, January 18, 2023

Prosecutors do not have a strong case against Brian Walshe, defense attorney says

From CNN's Jason Carroll and Celina Tebor

Brian Walshe, center, listens during his arraignment on January 18 at Quincy District Court, in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Brian Walshe, center, listens during his arraignment on January 18 at Quincy District Court, in Quincy, Massachusetts. (Craig F. Walker/Pool/The Boston Globe/AP)

Brian Walshe’s defense attorney called out prosecutors Wednesday for leaking evidence to the press, saying she believes their case against her client in the alleged murder of his wife Ana Walshe is not strong.

“In my experience, where, as here, the prosecution leaks so-called evidence to the press before they provide it to me, their case isn’t that strong,” Brian Walshe defense attorney Tracy Miner said in a statement released Wednesday, after Walshe was arraigned on the charge of murder. 

Miner also said she has not been given any evidence yet so she will not comment on it, and said she will not try the case in the media.

“We shall see what they have and what evidence is admissible in court, where the case will ultimately be decided,” Miner said in the statement. “It is easy to charge a crime and even easier to say a person committed that crime. It is a much more difficult thing to prove it, which we will see if the prosecution can do.”

8:31 p.m. ET, January 18, 2023

Prosecutor said law enforcement discovered 10 trash bags of evidence during their investigation

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Massachusetts prosecutors unveiled chilling details about the evidence they collected against Brian Walshe in the murder of his wife, Ana, including several items found strewn across several garbage disposal sites.

Prosecutor Lynn Beland delved into the stunning details at arraignment in a Massachusetts courtroom Wednesday, saying investigators discovered 10 trash bags with items, including stains consistent with blood.

Among the items secured were towels, rags, slippers, tape, gloves, cleaning agents, a Covid-19 vaccination card in the name of Walshe's wife, Ana Walshe, a hacksaw, and a hatchet, Beland said.

During the hearing, the prosecutor described surveillance and evidence from Brian’s phone showing he purchased items such as towels, bathmats, squeegees and a trash can at Lowe's, HomeGoods, and TJ Maxx. CNN has reported evidence showed he also purchased various cleaning supplies.

Investigators also discovered personal items amid the trash, including a portion of a necklace consistent with one Ana had been seen wearing in photos.

The state crime lab performed tests on items recovered from trash cans and determined human blood was present.

State lab tests show that Ana and Brian’s DNA were contributors to the blood found on slippers, and a Tyvek suit – a protective near full body suit.

8:31 p.m. ET, January 18, 2023

Walshe shook his head as prosecutor alleged he searched on his son's iPad for how to cover up a murder

From CNN's Jason Carroll and Kristina Sgueglia

Brian Walshe remained mostly silent during Wednesday's arraignment. The only words Walshe spoke were "I do" when asked if he understood the charges he now faces. 

Walshe appeared unfazed as prosecutor Lynn Beland outlined a list of gruesome Google searches she claimed Walshe conducted on how to cover up a murder. He shook his head when she alleged he conducted searches on his son's iPad.

The list of Google searches presented in court was made on Jan. 1 — the last day Walshe's wife, Ana, was seen — and in the days after. They included a search at 4:55 am on Jan. 1 for "how long before a body starts to smell." Several minutes later, Beland said, he searched "how to stop a body from decomposing."

Throughout the morning of Jan 1, the prosecutor said Walshe continued to make searches along these lines — including "ten ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to," and "what does formaldehyde do?"

On Jan. 2, the prosecutor said, Walshe did more searches, including "is a hacksaw the best tool to dismember?" and "can you be charged with a murder without a body?" 

The courtroom was packed — but largely with press. CNN did not see Ana's friends or relatives represented in court.

9:54 a.m. ET, January 18, 2023

Not guilty plea entered on Brian Walshe's behalf

From CNN's Kristina Squeglia

Brian Walshe appeared in court today after he was charged Tuesday with murdering his wife, Ana Walshe.

Walshe was read the charges and the court indicated not guilty pleas would be entered on his behalf.

Walshe only spoke in court to say he acknowledged the charges and appeared largely stoic throughout the reading of evidence. 

Defense did not contest bail and a judge ordered him held without bail.

Feb. 9 is the next status date.

9:50 a.m. ET, January 18, 2023

Prosecutors match Ana Walshe's DNA to evidence contributing to murder charge

From CNN's Kristina Squeglia

Ana Walshe is seen in an undated photo. A portion of this image has been blurred by CNN to protect a minor's identity.
Ana Walshe is seen in an undated photo. A portion of this image has been blurred by CNN to protect a minor's identity. (Courtesy Peter Kirby)

Massachusetts prosecutors say Ana Walshe’s DNA, as well as Brian Walshe’s DNA, were found as contributors to several blood samples tested within the garbage recovered during their expansive search of the missing woman. 

“It is believed that Brian Walshe dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body,” the Commonwealth prosecutors said in court.
9:40 a.m. ET, January 18, 2023

Prosecutor details what Brian Walshe bought earlier this month, including a hatchet and mops

At Brian Walshe's arraignment, a prosecutor detailed the items that they say Walshe bought in connection to his wife Ana Walshe's murder.

Here are the details, according to prosecutors:

  • On Jan. 2, from Home Depot in Rockland, Massachusetts: Items included cleaning products, such as mops, brushes, tape, tarp, a Tyvek suit with boot covers, buckets, baking soda and a hatchet. "He had a face mask and rubber gloves on at the time he was pushing the cart in Home Depot," the prosecutor said.
  • On Jan. 4, from Home Goods and TJ Maxx: He purchased towels, as well as bath mats and men's clothing. 
  • On Jan. 4, from Lowe's: He purchased squeegees and a trash can.
9:58 a.m. ET, January 18, 2023

Prosecutor: These are online searches Walshe made on his son's iPad related to disposing of a body

During Brian Walshe's arraignment on murder charges in a Massachusetts court this morning, the prosecution listed a series of online searches on how to cover up a murder that they say Walshe made from his son's iPad.

Here are the searches that prosecutor Lynn Beland listed in court:

January 1:

  • How long before a body starts to smell?
  • How to stop a body from decomposing.
  • Ten ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to
  • How long for someone to be missing to inherit. 
  • Can you throw away body parts? 
  • What does formaldehyde do? 
  • How long does DNA last? 
  • Can identification be made on partial remains? 
  • Dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body. 
  • How to clean blood from wooden floor. 
  • Luminol to detect blood. 
  • What happens when you put body parts in ammonia?

January 2:

  • Hacksaw best tool to dismember. 
  • Can you be charged with murder without a body? 
  • Can you identify a body with broken teeth?

January 3:

  • What happens to hair on a dead body? 
  • What is the rate of decomposition of a body found in a plastic bag compared to on a surface in the woods? 
  • Can baking soda mask or make a body smell good?

Beland said there was one earlier Google search to note — on December 27, the prosecutor added Walshe searched: "What's the best state to divorce?"

"Rather than divorce it is believed that Brian Walshe dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body," Beland said.

9:39 a.m. ET, January 18, 2023

NOW: Brian Walshe appears in court on murder charge in wife's disappearance

Brian Walshe appears in Quincy District Court for his arraignment on January 18.
Brian Walshe appears in Quincy District Court for his arraignment on January 18. (WBTS)

Brian Walshe is in court for his arraignment in Quincy District Court in Massachusetts. He faces a murder charge in the death of his wife, Ana Walshe, who has been missing since New Year's.

The office of Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey said Tuesday that the "continued investigation" has allowed police to obtain the arrest warrant to charge Walshe.

"Additional details in the investigation and the evidence in support of those charges are likely to be presented at arraignment but will not be disclosed at this time," Morrissey said in a statement.

Walshe is being held in custody after being arrested last week for misleading police investigators. He pleaded not guilty to those charges and is being held at the Norfolk County House of Correction, Morrissey said.

9:49 a.m. ET, January 18, 2023

What we know about Brian Walshe's legal history

From CNN's Amanda Watts and Eric Levenson

(Cohasset Police Department)
(Cohasset Police Department)

Details of Brian Walshe’s tumultuous legal history have also emerged in recent days, revealing harsh criticisms of him made by a relative and family friends during a 2019 dispute over his father’s will.

In affidavits submitted by his father’s nephew and close friends, Brian is described as a dishonest, “very angry and physically violent person.” The two close friends also described him as a “sociopath,” the affidavits show.

Dr. Thomas Walshe, who headed the neurology division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for over a decade, died in 2018 in India, according to court documents. He bequeathed to Brian only his “best wishes” and “nothing else” from his estate, noting that he was no longer in contact with his son, according to photographs of the will included in court documents.

However, Brian Walshe objected in an affidavit in November 2019, arguing that he was “one of only two legal heirs” to his father’s estate. He said his father’s health had been “very poor” when he signed what Brian described as a “suspect” will, and he suggested his father’s signature on the document was a “possible forgery.”

He also claimed that he and his father had been estranged over the years but had “reconnected” in 2015 and began “speaking regularly” in 2016. He also claimed the two properties tied up in the estate had an estimated value of over $1 million.

In their affidavits rejecting those claims, his father’s nephew and friends detailed years of alleged swindling and manipulation by Brian Walshe.

“My Uncle’s Last Will and Testament confirms what he had told many people over the years that he did not want his son, Brian, to inherit anything from his Estate,” wrote Andrew Walshe, the estate’s executor and one of Dr. Walshe’s nephews, in an affidavit.

“He had a severe falling out with his son… Brian had ran off with a significant amount of his money; he had had almost zero contact with Brian R. Walshe over the last ten plus years,” Andrew Walshe added.

Federal fraud charges: Separately, Brian Walshe was indicted on federal fraud charges in 2018 for allegedly selling fake Andy Warhol artwork on eBay, according to court documents.

He allegedly took real paintings from a friend to sell, but never did, according to the documents. He did not compensate the friend for the art either, prosecutors alleged.

In 2021, he pleaded guilty to three federal fraud charges and has been on house arrest and monitoring as he awaits sentencing.

In a letter to the federal judge hearing the case, Walshe said he was “extremely sorry” for his past conduct and promised he had changed since the crime was committed. Ana Walshe also wrote a letter to the court that she was grateful he was able to remain under house arrest during case proceedings.