State news

Therapist charged with killing family faced fraud probe

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A physical therapist charged with killing his wife, three children and dog in a home near Walt Disney World was being investigated for health care fraud in Connecticut. Documents unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Connecticut show Anthony Todt was being investigated by federal agents for submitting fraudulent claims for physical therapy. According to agents, the allegations involved Todt and his Colchester, Connecticut-base clinics submitting claims to Medicaid and private insurers for physical therapy services that weren't given to patients. Todt was charged Wednesday with the deaths of his wife, Megan, and their three children ranging in ages from 4 to 13.
 


Ex-nursing home director pleads guilty to $4M embezzlement

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - The former operator of two Connecticut nursing homes has pleaded guilty to embezzlement and tax offenses in federal court. The Connecticut Post reports 71-year-old Chaim Stern, of Flushing, New York, waived his right to be indicted in Bridgeport federal court Wednesday. A news release states the charges against him developed during his time as the operator of Bridgeport Health Care Center and of Bridgeport Manor. He is accused of stealing around $4.1 million from one of the nursing home's pension plans from 2011 to 2018. Stern is scheduled to be sentenced on April 8.


Police captain back at work 5 months after being shot

A Connecticut police captain who was shot when he intervened in a deadly shooting has returned to work after five months of recuperation. New Haven Capt. Anthony Duff thanked his colleagues and residents for their support Thursday during the department's weekly meeting to share information with community partners. Duff, a 24-year veteran, was off duty and out of uniform on Aug. 12 when he was shot three times while attempting to intervene in the killing that remains unsolved. Duff said the experience of being shot and recovering has increased his appreciation for those in his life and the kindness of strangers.


Police: Husband nearly ran over wife 2 years before killing

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Newly released search warrants in the case of a missing Connecticut mother of five allege her estranged husband nearly ran her over with a vehicle two years before she was killed. A judge unsealed nearly 500 pages of search warrants Wednesday in the case of Jennifer Dulos, who disappeared last May. Her body has not been found. Her estranged husband was charged with murder last week. He denies any involvement in her disappearance or killing. The warrants describe a volatile time in the couple's relationship in the summer of 2017, when their contentious divorce and child custody case began.


Former gas station manager sentenced to jail for larceny

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 when she was the manager at a convenience store has been sentenced to five years in jail. The Stamford Advocate reports 25-year-old Julienne Julmeus, of Stamford, was arrested and sentenced Tuesday after failing to show in court and pay back the "substantial" amount of money she owed. Julmeus was the manager at the station from 2015 to 2016, where officials say she was stealing up to $17,000 per month. White also sentenced Julmeus to five years of probation, where she would be made to pay back the money she owes.
 


Man fatally shot by Connecticut State Police following chase

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Officials say a man was fatally shot by Connecticut State Police after a reported carjacking. The Hartford Courant reports the unidentified man was shot by troopers at an exit in West Haven following a dangerous pursuit Wednesday night. Troopers say the man was intentionally colliding into other cars on the interstate while they were in pursuit. The man was taken to Yale New Haven, where he later died. Police say no troopers, other drivers or bystanders were hurt during the events. Officials did not disclose how many shots were fired by the three troopers involved but say their names will be released Thursday.


Man accused of killing hotel worker in Anguilla sues resort

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man charged with killing a hotel worker he says attacked his family on the Caribbean island of Anguilla has filed a negligence lawsuit against the resort company that operates the hotel. A spokeswoman for Scott Hapgood, of Darien, says the lawsuit against Auberge Resorts was filed Monday in California, where the company is based in Mill Valley. Hapgood is accusing Auberge Resorts of negligence in the hiring and supervision of Kenny Mitchel, the hotel worker killed last April. Hapgood is charged with manslaughter but claims self-defense. An email message seeking comment was left for Auberge Resorts.


Police: Mother of infant who froze in 1988 won't be charged

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) - DNA testing has helped police identify the mother of an infant who was abandoned and found frozen to death in a Connecticut parking lot in 1988. Meriden Police Chief Jeffry Cossette announced Tuesday that the mother was Karen Kuzmak Roche, who was 25 when the baby's body was found. Cossette says Roche is not expected to face criminal charges. He says the case is one of manslaughter, which has a 20-year statute of limitations. Police say Roche was remorseful when they questioned her at her home on Jan. 2, the 32nd anniversary of the baby's death.


Students charged with shouting racial slurs sue UConn

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Two University of Connecticut students arrested for shouting a racial slur outside a campus apartment complex have sued the school. Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj say UConn is violating their free speech rights by holding disciplinary proceedings that include a recommendation to remove them from student housing. They are seeking undisclosed damages and a halt to the disciplinary hearings. A UConn spokeswoman says the school doesn't comment on pending litigation. Police say Karal and Mucaj said the racial slur several times on Oct. 11, as part of a game.. The incident was recorded by a black student and sparked protests.


Education agency expects influx of students from Puerto Rico

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut education officials are expecting an influx of displaced students from Puerto Rico, following the recent earthquakes. The Connecticut State Department of Education said Monday it will provide local school districts with any guidance or technical help they may need, such as training in trauma-informed education and the best strategies for helping new students who are English learners. State education officials said they'll also work with the governor's office, the Legislature, and the congressional delegation to obtain financial support for impacted districts. Connecticut received a large influx of students after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017. The state has a large population of people of Puerto Rican descent.


Inmate dies after fall inside Connecticut prison

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut prison inmate has died after suffering a bruise to the back of his head in a fall. Correction officials say 36-year-old Jose Peralta of Waterbury, who was serving time for assault, was found at about 1 a.m. last Thursday on the floor of a dormitory inside the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers. Officials say Peralta was conscious when he was taken to the prison's infirmary and transported to a local hospital after his condition deteriorated. He was pronounced dead just before 3 a.m. The department has put two department nurses on administrative leave while it investigates the death.


Lawsuit over teen's diagnosis, treatment heads to trial

BOSTON (AP) - A lawsuit filed by the family of a Connecticut teen who was placed into state custody after a dispute over her diagnosis and put in psychiatric unit is scheduled to start Tuesday.The Boston Globe reports that the suit was brought by the parents of Justina Pelletier against Boston Children's Hospitaland those who treated her. The family seeks unspecified damages. She had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease at one hospital, but Children's diagnosed her problems as psychiatric. Her parents disagreed with the latter diagnosis, prompting the state to take custody of the then-14-year-old girl in 2013. Children's says Pelletier received high-quality care.


Agreement reached in 30-year-old school desegregation case

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut state officials say an agreement reached Friday in Hartford's long-running school desegregation case will put the district on a path to ending 30 years of litigation. The settlement includes new measures to reach diversity goals and allows for judicial oversight to end once they are shown to produce opportunities in diverse school settings for all Hartford families.The case began with a lawsuit challenging inequalities between Hartford schools and suburban schools.In 1996, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled the extreme racial isolation of Hartford students violated the state constitution.


Man seeks retrial in $1M sports nonprofit embezzlement case

A Connecticut man convicted of misusing more than $1 million from the nonprofit he founded is asking the Rhode Island Supreme Court for a new trial. Daniel Doyle Jr., the founder of the Institute for International Sport, was sentenced to prison in 2017 for forging signatures and stealing money from his nonprofit. Doyle's attorneys contend prosecutors poisoned the jury with an "avalanche" of evidence against the West Hartford, Connecticut, man about conduct for which he was never charged. The state has asked the court to deny and dismiss the appeal. Arguments are scheduled to be heard Jan. 22.


Questions, disagreements ensue after fatal police shooting

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A fatal shooting by police in Connecticut has raised questions about whether officers did enough to diffuse the situation and the fallibility of stun guns. Ansonia police say one of their officers was forced to shoot Michael Gregory when Gregory came at police with a knife inside a house on Jan. 2. The officer also had fired his stun gun at Gregory, but it didn't affect Gregory. While civil liberties advocates say it appeared police did nothing but escalate the situation, police and other advocates believe the officers acted appropriately and had no choice but to use deadly force.


Police: Man shoots ex rather than pay her child support

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man police say shot his girlfriend rather than pay her child support has been held on $500,000 bond. Termane Smith, of Naugatuck, was in court Wednesday to faces charges including first-degree assault. Police said on Nov. 3, officers were called to the hospital after a woman came in with a gunshot wound in her left arm. The victim at first said she did not know who shot her, but later said it was the 40-year-old Smith. She told police when she talked to Smith about paying child support for their two children he "flipped out."
 


Board of education votes to reinstate Native American mascot

KILLINGLY, Conn. (AP) - A board of education in Connecticut have voted to bring back the name of a controversial Native American-themed athletic mascot. The Killingly Board of Education opted to reinstate the Redmen mascot at a meeting Wednesday night. In October, the same board approved the new Red Hawks mascot after it was overwhelmingly approved by students at Killingly High School. Newly-elected Republican members of the education board made a campaign promise to reverse the change. The board, with a Republican majority, held a public meeting on Dec. 11 where it voted to remove the Red Hawks mascot but tied on whether to return to the original mascot.


Man sentenced to 10 years for trying to have ex-wife killed

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man is facing 10 years in prison on charges he tried to hire someone to kill his ex-wife. James Erik Godiksen also was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $10,000 fine. Prosecutors say Godiksen spoke on the phone in 2016 to an undercover federal agent who he believed was a hit man. They say he offered $5,000 to have his ex-wife murdered and said he would like to see her head cut off. A jury found him guilty in 2018 on one count of murder for hire.


College student gets probation in racial slur case

ROCKVILLE, Conn. (AP) - A University of Connecticut student caught on video shouting a racial slur outside a campus apartment complex has been granted a special form of probation. A judge on Tuesday accepted 21-year-old Jarred Karal's application for accelerated rehabilitation and placed him on six months of probation. Accelerated rehabilitation is generally for first-time offenders charged with nonviolent offenses. A charge of ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race will be dismissed after a successful probation period. Police said Karal and another student yelled the slur while walking through the complex Oct. 11. They were caught on video by another student.


Police: Man stabs wife, turns himself in to police

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) - Police say a woman was stabbed to death and her husband is in custody in a case of domestic violence. Bristol police say 37-year-old Eddie Torres is charged with murder and is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in New Britain Superior Court. It could not be determined if he had an attorney. Officers were alerted to the stabbing just after 9 p.m. Tuesday when Torres walked into the police station covered in blood to report the stabbing. Police said it appears as though there was an argument and Torres stabbed the 39-year-old woman multiple times. She died at the hospital.
 


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