According to the Boston Globe, Walshe spoke only when asked if he understood the charges against him. After the plea was entered, the judge overseeing his case ordered him held without bail.
Walshe was charged with the murder of his wife, Ana Walshe, who has been missing from the wealthy coastal town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, since around New Year’s Day, according to Massachusetts prosecutors. On Tuesday, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey announced an arrest warrant had been issued.
“Mr. Walshe will be transported to the Quincy District Court for arraignment on the charge of murder,” Morrissey said in a video announcement. “Additional details of 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.” A spokesperson for the DA’s office confirmed the arraignment has been scheduled for Wednesday.
During the arraignment Wednesday, prosecutors said Walshe “dismembered” and “discarded” Ana’s body — and allegedly completed numerous Google searches related to these tasks. According to Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland, around the time of Ana’s disappearance, Walshe used his son’s iPad to enter search terms such as: “can you be charged with murder without a body,” “hacksaw best tool to dismember,” “how long before a body starts to smell,” “how to stop a body from decomposing,” “how long does DNA last,” “dismemberment and best ways to dispose of a body,” “how to embalm a body,” and “10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to.”
Tracy Miner, a lawyer for Walshe, said in a statement shared with Rolling Stone: “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. I am not going to comment on the evidence, first because I am going to try this case in the court and not in the media. Second, because I haven’t been provided with any evidence by the prosecution. 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. When they have a strong case, they give me everything as soon as possible. We shall see what they have and what evidence is admissible in court, where the case will ultimately be decided.”
When the warrant was issued, Walshe was already being held in jail on the charge that he’d misled investigators in their search for Ana, a real estate executive and mother of three. Walshe pleaded not guilty to the charge. Of Ana’s disappearance, he told police she had left for an emergency work trip in the early hours of Jan. 1, but investigators found no evidence that she’d caught a cab or boarded a flight. Recent reports revealed Ana’s colleagues had contacted Walshe first, then reported Ana missing to the police Jan. 4, according to police logs, before authorities reached out to Walshe. (This is contrary to earlier reports that Walshe and Ana’s company reported her missing around the same time.)
It didn’t take long for evidence to point toward Walshe as a suspect. Police said Walshe, who before Ana’s disappearance was awaiting sentencing for federal art fraud, had violated conditions of his house arrest to buy cleaning supplies and a tarp from Home Depot. Reports said Walshe’s internet history included research on “how to dispose of a 115-pound woman’s body,” and prosecutors revealed the discovery of a bloody, broken knife in the family’s basement. Police also searched trash at multiple locations around the Boston area and recovered several pieces of potential evidence. These reportedly included a hatchet, a hacksaw, a rug, and used cleaning supplies, although investigators have yet to confirm details of the items.
This story was updated 1/18/23 at 11:06 a.m. ET with Walshe’s not guilty plea and details from his arraignment.