Bond Set at $1 Million in Case of ECSU Student's Death

Monday, May 20, 2013  |  Updated 3:54 PM EDT
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Bond Set at $1 Million in Case of ECSU Student's Death

NBCConnecticut.com

Jermaine Richards has been charged with the murder of Alyssiah Wiley.

The boyfriend of ECSU Student Alyssiah Wiley appeared in court on murder charges Monday.

Jermaine Richards, a 30-year-old nurse, was held on $1 million bond.

Richards was arrested on Saturday afternoon, hours after police confirmed that remains found in a wooded area of Trumbull were those of Wiley.

Family and friends of the 20-year-old woman said Richards was Alyssiah's long-time boyfriend.

Wiley, a sophomore at Eastern Connecticut State University, was last seen in Bridgeport.

Richards claimed that he dropped Wiley off at a Dairy Queen near the campus in Willimantic at 11 p.m. on April 20, police said.

The search for her stretched from Willimantic to Meriden, East Haven, West Haven and Ansonia.

State Police began searching a wooded area off of Quarry Road early Friday morning and a state police cadaver dog found Wiley's remains around 10 a.m.

The Connecticut State Forensic Lab in Meriden identified the remains as Wiley through DNA.

Richards turned himself in to Troop G State Police Barracks in Bridgeport on Saturday afternoon, police said.

Attorney John Gulash, said he has been representing Richards “over the past few weeks during the course of the investigation.”

“I remained in regular contact with the State Police and upon hearing that a warrant was issued, immediately made arrangements to surrender him to State Police,” Gulash said.

He said Richards has lived here in the Bridgeport area for the last 20 years and has been gainfully employed up until the time of his arrest.

“I think it certainly supports that he is certainly willing to abide by any terms and conditions of the court while the matter is pending,” Gulash said. “It's an emotionally charged situation.  The court on a very regular basis deals with similar situations, and they certainly were prepared to deal with it as they do every day.” 

Corinna Martin, Alyssiah's mother, said major crimes detectives came to her door to personally tell her they had found her daughter's body.

She praised police for their effort and said her daughter was taken from her by a "selfish and malicious person." She added that she loves God and God loves her.

"A young woman who lived life, had her goals set, knew where she wanted to go, and knew what she had to do to get there. And she loved it all to the fullest," Martin said.

The Office of the Chief State's Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of Wiley's death. 

Bond for Richards was originally was set at $2 million, state police spokesman,  Lt. J. Paul Vance, said. On Monday, Richards was held on $1 million bond and the case was transferred to Part A. A court date of June 25 is set. The warrant is sealed.

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