Former Windsor Locks Cop Sentenced to 5 Years

Henry Dang, 15, of Windsor Locks, was struck while riding a bike.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A former Windsor Locks police officer who pleaded no contest to charges connected to the death of Henry Dang, 15, in 2010 was sentenced on Monday to five years and four months.

    Michael Koistinen was off-duty just before midnight on Oct. 29, 2010, after a night of drinking, according to state police, and hit Dang as the teen was riding his bike.

    Koistinen Sentenced

    [HAR] Koistinen Sentenced
    Koistinen Sentenced (Published Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012)

    He was charged with manslaughter in the death of the Windsor Locks teen and pleaded no contest to manslaughter and second-degree tampering with evidence.

    After entering the plea,  Judge Joan Alexander sentenced Koistinen to 15 years in prison, suspended after 64 months, which equates to five years and four months.

    Alexander asked Koistinen if he had anything to say during the proceeding.

    "Just that I'm extremely sorry and that I never meant for this to happen," Koistinen said.

    Dang's family presented a slideshow with pictures of the boy throughout his childhood.  He would have turned 17 on Sunday.

    Police estimate that Koistinen was driving more than 70 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone.
    On the night of the crash, Koistinen was taken from the scene by his father, Robert Koistinen, who was also a Windsor Locks police officer. He was never given a breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol test at the hospital after the crash.

    Robert Koistinen was later arrested and charged with hindering prosecution and interfering. He was fired from his job in January and had pleaded not guilty.

    State police investigators, who took over the investigation from local authorities, determined that Michael Koistinen had been drinking for several hours before the accident. Investigators at the scene also found a glass containing beer, that a witness said Koistinen tossed aside after the crash.

    On Sept 6, Koistinen appeared before the State Board of Arbitration and Mediation and claimed the Windsor Locks Police Commission illegally fired him, according to Scott Jelescheff, a lawyer for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.

    The Police Commission said it had the right to fire Koistinen in December, because he was still a probationary officer at the time of the crash and could be fired for any cause.

    Michael Koistinen was also charged with misconduct with a motor vehicle and tampering with physical evidence.

    The trial was scheduled to begin on June 19.

    Dang’s family previously said they had no objection to the deal, according to their attorney.