, the Valley Cottage man who brutally killed his 32-year-old neighbor in 2009, was sentenced today to 22 years to life in state prison for the slaying that stunned Rockland County.
The murder of at her townhouse unit in Valley Cottage sparked a two-day manhunt that ended with Lau's capture in New City. Erlich, popular physical education teacher at a school in Ramapo, was well-known and respected throughout the county.
Lau, of 1 Church Lane, Apartment 1-F, Valley Cottage, pleaded guilty in April in Rockland County Court in New City before Judge William Kelly to second-degree intentional murder.
“The victim in this case was a young woman with a bright future," said Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe. "Her untimely death is a constant reminder to her family of the defendants’ depraved actions. Hopefully, her loved ones can find some degree of closure in knowing that the predator responsible has been punished and will be isolated from harming anyone else in society for many years.”
The murder took place on Nov. 29, 2009, at about 9:30 p.m., when Lau went to Erlich's home while she was out. When Erlich came home, she was attacked by Lau, who hit her across the head with a blunt object and slashed ther throat.
Lau lived in a neighboring condominium unit.
Lau evaded police for nearly 48 hours until he was arrested by Clarkstown police on Lansdale Drive in New City at about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2009.
Executive Assistant District Attorney Stephen Moore and Supervising Assistant District Attorney Dominic Crispino prosecuted the case.