Man accused of Toys R Us murder appears in court

Oct 18, 2013

Bernard Grucza appeared in Hamburg Town Court this morning. Grucza was arrested Wednesday and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Laurence Wells.

Wells, 35, was found stabbed in his office at the Toys R Us store across from the McKinley Mall in late June. Police say DNA from a baseball cap found at the scene linked the 38-year-old Grucza to the crime scene.

Bernard Grucza is being held without bail, suspected in the murder or Laurence Wells.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Shortly after the murder, Grucza, who was a loss-prevention officer at the store, was seen on camera outside the store consoling his co-workers.

An indictment must be handed down within six days of his arrest. If not, Grucza will be back in Hamburg Court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon. He's being held without bail in the Erie County Holding Center.

Grucza was arrested at a house in the Village of Allegany, where he was staying with his girlfriend. Police say he was trying to keep a low-profile.

Grucza remained silent during the brief preliminary hearing Friday. So far, the district attorney and the suspect's lawyer have declined to comment about the case.