After more than two years since the slaying of popular gym teacher of Valley Cottage, her neighbor has pleaded guilty to her murder.
said , 34, now faces a maximum of 22 years in prison for the brutal Nov. 29, 2009, killing of Erlich in her townhouse unit.
The murder stunned residents of many communities in Rockland, where was well-known as a runner at Rockland Lake State Park and was very popular as a teacher in Suffern. The killing sparked a manhunt that led to Lau's arrest by Clarkstown police on Lansdale Drive in New City at about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2009.
Since then, lawyers for Lau had been attempting to have him declared mentally unfit to stand trial at the Rockland County Courthouse in New City. That bid ended with Judge William Kelly deciding that Lau is fit to stand trial.
Lau is being held in the Rockland County Correctional Facility in New City, where he has been charged several times with assault in connection with violent incidents with corrections officers.
Lau, of 1 Church Lane, Apartment 1-F, Valley Cottage, pleaded guilty to the top count of the indictment against him charging, him with second-degree murder.
Lau is scheduled to be sentended on June 22. The prosecution was led by Executive Assistant District Attorney Stephen Moore and Supervising Assistant District Attorney Dominic Crispino.