One year after a brutal home invasion and murder in Sharon, four suspects have been arrested, charged and arraigned.
Niraj Patel, 26, Hiral Patel, 25 and Michael Calabrese, 27, are charged with felony murder, home invasion, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm and hindering prosecution.
Shyam Patel, 27, is charged with tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.
Police obtained the arrest warrants earlier this week and arrested the suspects on Wednesday. All four appeared in Litchfield Superior Court today.
The home invasion and murder happened around 6 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2012 at 299 Cornwall Bridge Road.
Police said the suspects entered the rural home and tied up Rita Vitalis, then continued upstairs, where they shot and killed her 23-year-old son, Lucas.
Rita Vitalis wasn’t injured, and her account helped police identify the suspects.
Prosecutors accused Niraj Patel of orchestrating the crime by setting up a fake drug deal. They said Patel wanted money to pay an attorney who was representing him on drug charges.
Hiral Patel and Calabrese carried out the crime, and Shyam Patel tried to cover it up, according to prosecutors.
The Statewide Narcotics Task Force and several local police deparments, including Madison and Branford, assisted with the investigation.
"They literally did old fashioned police work, boots on the ground, talking to people, conducting interviews. They gathered forensic and physical evidence at the crime scene," said state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance.
The suspects return to court in October.
State police said they expect to make additional arrests.