WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (AP) Two Connecticut state troopers who are charged in connection with the beating of a man in Wethersfield while off-duty have been fired.
State police say Rupert Laird, of Manchester, and Xavier Cruz, of Wethersfield, were terminated effective this week. They face charges including kidnapping and assault.
Court documents say Laird was upset that the man improperly touched a woman Laird knows and Laird beat the victim in Cruz's home while Cruz watched on Feb. 18.
Laird's lawyer tells the Hartford Courant that he will appeal the decision. Cruz's lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Both troopers were placed on house arrest after posting $750,000 bond. They are due back in court Nov. 13.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Murders and non-negligent manslaughters decreased 33 percent in Connecticut from 2015 to 2016, but the state saw a slight uptick in overall violent crime.
The FBI released new data from its Uniform Crime Reporting Program on Monday.
There were 78 murders and non-negligent manslaughters in Connecticut in 2016, down from 116 the year before. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the 33 percent decrease was the largest in the country, which saw an 8.6 percent increase in such killings.
Overall violent crimes in Connecticut including murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults increased 2.3 percent to 8,123 in 2016.
Malloy says the murder total in the state last year was the lowest since 1969, and the state has seen the largest drop in violent crimes nationwide over the past four years.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Insurance company lawyers are blasting a man whose mother was lost at sea, saying he made suspicious alterations to his boat before it sank in 2016.
Lawyers for Nathan Carman's insurance company said Monday in federal court documents that the Vermont man is refusing to cooperate as they investigate his claim for what they call the "curious" sinking of his boat.
Carman's mother, Linda, is presumed dead after his boat sank during a fishing trip they took out of Rhode Island. Carman also is "a person of interest" in the 2013 slaying of his millionaire grandfather in Connecticut.
Monday's filing says Carman's refusal to cooperate is "evasive and not in good faith" and says much evidence is missing, including Linda Carman.
Nathan Carman's lawyers didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.
This story has been clarified to describe Nathan Carman as "a person of interest" in his grandfather's slaying.
NAUGATUCK, Conn. (AP) Police say a car crash has left a 27-year-old woman dead in Connecticut.
Naugatuck resident Brittany Schuld was heading west in her vehicle early Sunday when investigators say her car left the roadway and hit a utility pole.
Police say Schuld was pronounced dead at the scene.
Crews were called in to restore downed power lines.
Authorities are investigating the crash.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Connecticut police officials say two officers are home recovering after being shot by a man who is suspected of first shooting his wife.
New Haven police said Sunday that Officers Eric Pessino and Scott Shumway have been released from the hospital.
They were wounded Saturday while responding to a report of a woman being shot multiple times during a dispute with a man believed to be her husband. The 51-year-old woman was hospitalized and was last listed in critical condition.
Police say the suspect, identified as 51-year-old John Douglas Monroe, was shot by members of a SWAT team after he pointed a gun at them. He is hospitalized with serious injuries.
GROTON, Conn. (AP) The Navy submarine base in Groton is planning security drills that will include the firing of automatic weapons loaded with blanks.
Officials say the exercises will run Tuesday through Thursday and will test the readiness of Navy security forces to respond to threats to the base and its submarines.
The firing of automatic weapons along the base's waterfront is planned on Wednesday and Thursday between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Exercises also may include simulated emergencies such as a small boat attack or active shooter threat.
Authorities say area residents may see increased security activity, increased traffic around the base and brief delays accessing the base.
Officials say the public will be informed about the exercise through computer network alert systems and a loud, outdoor intercom.
MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) Police say a 5-year-old Connecticut boy suffered serious injuries when he was attacked by a family dog.
Police say the attack happened Thursday night in Manchester.
They say the boy was taken to a hospital with injuries that required surgery. The boy's current condition is not known.
WTIC-TV reports the dog was quarantined after the attack.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A doctor who police say killed a Yale University physician over a workplace dispute is set to be sentenced to three decades behind bars.
Lishan Wang is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in New Haven Superior Court for the 2010 shooting death of Dr. Vajinder Toor. He pleaded no contest in June to manslaughter and other charges, and agreed to serve 32 years in prison.
Prosecutors say the Chinese citizen killed Toor and shot at but missed Toor's pregnant wife outside the couple's Branford home. Authorities say the shooting stemmed from a 2008 workplace dispute at a New York City hospital.
The sentencing will end seven years of legal proceedings. Wang has been under a judge's orders to be forcibly medicated against his will to treat his mental illness.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut woman has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for her role in an identity theft scheme that netted her and an accomplice about $150,000 from 30 victims.
Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old Lorena Coburn, of West Haven, was also sentenced Thursday to three years of probation and ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution. Coburn pleaded guilty in November to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Authorities say Coburn and Jamila Williams-Stevenson worked together to steal personal information from several people. Williams-Stevenson was a care companion at Yale-New Haven Hospital and stole some of her patients' information. They also took out a $75,000 life insurance policy in the name of a victim then discussed ways of causing that person's death.
Williams-Stevenson was previously convicted.
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man has been charged with killing a kitten with a TV remote and shooting another with a BB gun.
Police say officers responded to a report that two kittens had been killed inside a West Hartford apartment on Wednesday.
Officers say they confirmed one kitten was dead and another was severely injured. They say the 22-year-old man reportedly shot and killed a pet rat with a BB gun and assaulted his girlfriend in the apartment a few days earlier.
The man, Corey McCall, has been charged with cruelty to animals, assault and other offenses. He's being held on $150,000 surety bond and can't be reached for comment.
It's unclear if McCall is being represented by an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A 29-year-old woman has been found guilty of first-degree manslaughter for fatally stabbing her boyfriend in a Connecticut motel.
The Journal Inquirer reports that a jury on Tuesday convicted Samantha Wheeler in the death of 43-year-old Myron Sanborn.
Sanborn bled to death in February 2016 after he was stabbed in the shoulder with a pair of scissors at the Madison Motor Inn in East Hartford.
Wheeler told officers Sanborn stabbed himself. However, police say his injuries were not self-inflicted.
Wheeler was originally charged with murder, but prosecutors reduced the charge in January.
She faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Dec. 1.
CLINTON, Conn. (AP) Two people had to be pulled from the burning wreckage of a mobile home that exploded in Connecticut.
Police in the town of Clinton received multiple calls about an explosion at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, followed by calls about a mobile home on fire at the Evergreen Park complex.
Clinton Fire Chief Vincent DeMaio says emergency responders arrived to find the home destroyed but ``were able to extricate two individuals from the burning wreckage.''
The victims were flown to Bridgeport Hospital.
Their names and conditions were not immediately released.
The cause remains under investigation, but authorities suspect the explosion was sparked by propane.
Neighbors told media outlets that the blast rocked their homes and people for miles around reported hearing it.
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) A lifeguard who was on duty at a Connecticut sports complex when a young boy nearly drowned has pleaded not guilty to charges of reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a child.
An attorney for 23-year-old Zachary Stein, of New Canaan, entered the plea Tuesday in a Stamford courtroom.
Investigators say Stein did not appear to be distracted while working at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in Stamford on Aug. 3, but surveillance video shows he didn't notice the 5-year-old boy underwater for about four minutes.
Stein then pulled the boy from the water and gave him CPR.
His lawyer says he is ``immensely relieved'' that the child survived and said a mistake does not constitute a crime.
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut fire chief will retire after being placed on paid leave following an investigation that faulted him for racial insensitivity.
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, a Republican, said Tuesday that she has accepted Thomas Ronalter's offer to retire. He will stay on until Oct. 2 but the department will continue to be run by Deputy Chief Peter Margentino.
Ronalter was placed on leave last month following a report from the city that said his insensitivity worsened perceptions of racism. The investigation was prompted by his refusal to hang a photograph of the department's first black chief on a wall of honor. Ronalter initially said he wouldn't resign and questioned many of the findings.
In a statement, Ronalter said it was an honor to serve the city for 35 years.
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) Authorities allege a Connecticut man opened fire on his girlfriend and her two children after yelling at the woman's son for making too much noise.
Jermaine Scott was arraigned Tuesday in New Britain on charges that include attempted murder. A judge set bail at $2.5 million.
An arrest warrant says Scott had become angry at the woman's son for making a loud noise at the home in March. Authorities say the woman's daughter walked into the room and began to argue with Scott. He allegedly chased the girl with a handgun, and ended up shooting the woman's son.
The warrant alleges the woman and her daughter were also shot by Scott. All three victims survived.
Scott was arrested on Monday.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he's willing to compromise with Republicans on a bipartisan budget plan, but will veto the GOP-backed budget that passed the legislature over the weekend.
Malloy, a Democrat, told reporters Monday that he is willing to accept a budget that includes Republican ideas he does not like, but that Republicans must be willing to adopt some ideas they don't like.
Malloy says his office is currently vetting the details of the Republican budget, but criticized it for underfunding pension obligations, cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from higher education and not providing enough aid to municipalities such as Hartford.
Malloy says any budget must provide structural fiscal reforms; prioritize helping those in need and should not be driven by additional taxes and other revenues.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - MGM Resorts International has announced plans for a $675 million waterfront casino in Connecticut's largest city.
MGM and development company RCI Group revealed the MGM Bridgeport proposal on Monday.
They said the casino would be privately funded, add more than 7,000 jobs to the Bridgeport area and result in $50 million in licensing fees for the state this fiscal year. The casino would include 2,000 slot machines, 160 table games and a 300-room hotel.
The move comes as MGM is building a nearly $1 billion casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, that faces competition from a casino planned less than 20 miles away in northern Connecticut by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes.
The two tribes on Monday said the Bridgeport casino would violate their existing casino compact with the state.
BOSTON (AP) -- A man has been charged with the 1992 killing of a middle school teacher's aide after testing confirmed that his DNA matched evidence found at the crime scene, authorities said Monday.
Gary Schara, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, was taken into custody in Connecticut and charged with the abduction, rape and killing of 24-year-old Lisa Ziegert, Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni told reporters.
"Through the determined and skilled work of many investigators, we have arrested the person responsible for the heinous acts committed against Lisa and the 25-year-long search for answer is over," Gulluni said.
Ziegert, of Agawam, was raped and stabbed after she disappeared from her night job at a card and gift store. Her body was found in a wooded area 4 miles away four days later.
Schara's arrest came after authorities decided to circle back to persons of interest in the case whose DNA profiles had never been run against evidence taken from Ziegert's body, Gulluni said. The district attorney said troopers attempted earlier this month to find Schara, who's been a person of interest since 1993, but he wasn't home.
The next day, a person close to Schara contacted police with information about handwritten documents in which he admitted raping and killing Ziegert, Gulluni said. Schara, 48, had fled to Connecticut and attempted to kill himself, Gulluni said.
Authorities found Schara at a Connecticut medical facility, where he was taken into custody on a fugitive-of-justice charge. He appeared in a Connecticut court Monday and waived extradition to Massachusetts, local news outlets reported. It was not immediately clear whether Schara has an attorney.
The district attorney said officials "have a sense of why he did it" but did not provide details about a possible motive.
Ziegert, an aide at Agawam Middle School, was working the night shift alone at the store when she disappeared April 15, 1992. The clerk who arrived at work the next morning found the store open, the lights on and Ziegert's car still in the parking lot. Her purse, her other personal belongings and the store's cash register appeared undisturbed.
Last year, the district attorney's office released a composite image of the suspect in Ziegert's slaying through a process called DNA phenotyping, which uses genetic material to predict the physical appearance and ancestry of an unknown individual.
Ziegert's mother thanked investigators Monday for their determination in solving the case.
"It has always been about justice for Lisa," Dee Zieger said.
NORWALK, Conn. (AP) - Police have identified a 65-year-old Connecticut man who was killed in a hit-and-run.
Investigators said Sunday that Archie Hilliard died after being hit Friday night while walking in Norwalk.
Officers have tracked down the vehicle believed to have hit him, but no one has been arrested. Police say they are following up on "significant leads."
NORTH BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) - Authorities have identified the second person killed in a Connecticut plane crash that claimed the life of NASCAR modified champion racer Ted Christopher.
Police said Sunday that 81-year-old Charles Dundas, a resident of New York and Florida, was killed in the Saturday crash in woods near North Branford. Federal officials say the plane had left Plainville's Robertson Airport headed for Long Island.
Dundas and the 59-year-old Christopher were the only two aboard the Mooney M20-C plane when it crashed.
Christopher was to have competed Saturday night at Long Island's Riverhead Raceway. North Branford police Lt. James Lovelace confirmed in an email Sunday that Dundas was the pilot and Christopher was the passenger.
Police found no evidence of fire or an explosion accompanying the crash.
The cause is under investigation.