(CBS/AP) CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - New York man David Laffer was formally indicted by a grand jury for four execution-style murders during a robbery at a Long Island pharmacy, an assistant district attorney announced Tuesday.
Suffolk County Police arrested the 33-year-old on June 22 and charged him with first-degree murder and resisting arrest to which he pleaded not guilty.
The specific charges in the indictment remained sealed until a date can be scheduled for a formal arraignment in state Supreme Court, which should happen in the coming days according to Laffer's court appointed attorney, Mary Beth Abbate.
Abbate said Tuesday that she fears for her client's safety in the Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead, where he has held without bail and on suicide watch since his arrest.
"I think it's OK that he's in protective custody at this time," Mary Beth Abbate said of her client. "If they put him in the general population there's a lot of strong emotion running around. The jail is not immune to that. Yeah, I am concerned about his safety."
Abbate also said that Laffer was not suicidal, but was just overwhelmed.
The murders happened on Father's Day at Haven Drugs in Medford when Laffer allegedly walked into the store, stole painkillers and killed two employees and two customers at close range.
Laffer's 29-year-old wife, Melinda Brady, who police say drove the getaway car, was also arrested for third-degree robbery for what authorities called "her involvement in the robbery." She was also charged with obstructing governmental administration.
Brady's scheduled court appearance Tuesday was postponed until July 15, although she could be in court before then if a grand jury returns upgraded or additional charges against her.