Daily Blotter – Dec. 11

A Roundup of All Things Criminal in CT

Postal Worker Nabbed For Drunk Delivering, Police Say
The rain and sleet won’t stop mail carriers, but the police will if they suspect one of being drunk on the job.
Police arrested Charles Smith, 54, in the parking lot of the Greenwich postal facilities after workers reported that he appeared to be intoxicated. He failed a series of field sobriety tests and smelled of alcohol, police said. He has been suspended.

Man Found Dead in Hotel Identified

The man found dead Wednesday morning in a Groton hotel is Jamel Campbell, 33, police said. Campbell, who was found inside a room at the Ramada Inn on Kings Highway, died from several gunshot wounds, police said. No arrests have been made.

Woman Accused of Torching Tree

Lighting up the Christmas tree is an honored  tradition, but not the way police said a Wallingford woman did it. Diana Duarte, 34, is accused of setting fire to an artificial Christmas tree in her home Tuesday with an aerosol can and a cigarette lighter. Duarte, one of five people living in the home on Wild Life Drive, was charged with first-degree arson and four counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, police said.

Fire officials said Duarte and four other people were inside when the fire was set but smoke detectors alerted officials to the problem. One of the other people grabbed the tree and threw it onto the front lawn, where the fire was put out, police said.  Duarte will be in court on Christmas Eve. She is being held on $50,000 bond.

Cop Accused of Sexual Assault of Minor

State police have issued an arrest warrant for William Edwards Sr., a well-known New London police officer, in connection with sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

The New London Day reports that Edwards, 45, is hospitalized and under psychiatric care, preventing state police from serving the warrant. State police are investigating Edwards for what they said is an off-duty incident.

Edwards, a 20-year old veteran of the department, is on paid leave. The chief of the New London Police Department is not commenting on the allegations since the investigating is ongoing.

Still Prison, Less Time

A Franklin man's prison sentence has been reduced. James Darrow, 49, was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1999 for the 1985 murder of John Avery.  A state Appellate Court overturned the conviction earlier this year after deciding that the trial judge should have instructed the jury on the issue of self defense. 

Darrow pleaded guilty in a new plea deal on Wednesday and will now spend 28 years behind bars.  Darrow told police he beat Avery, tied him up and then forced him to walk along railroad tracks to a swamp, where he knocked him into the water with a tree branch.

Students Try To Erase Hate From Their Records

Two former Quinnipiac University students accused of harassing two students by phone have applied for probation that could lead to charges being erased from their records.  Emily Loschiavo, 20, of West Newbury, VT, and Courtney Stellwag, of Newburgh, N.Y., were arrested in October and charged with harassment, conspiracy and disorderly conduct. 

They're accused of making harassing calls to a resident assistant's room at a Quinnipiac dorm.  According to one report, the calls to the RA's room were answered by two black players on the women's basketball team who are friends with the resident assistant.  Both women players were threatened with bodily harm, police said. Loschiavo and Stellwag have been expelled from the university.

 Man Accused of Bribing Lawmaker

A Madison man state police said tried to bribe a state lawmaker during a meeting on proposed legislation faces bribery charges. Anthony Perrelli, 74, is accused of trying to give cash to Democratic state Rep. Deborah Heinrich, of Madison, during a meeting in her office Wednesday. Heinrich immediately refused and told Perrelli she would report him, police said. Police arrested Perrelli as he was getting into his car in a parking garage at the Legislative Office Building. He was released from jail after posting $2,500 bail.

 Fourth Suspect Arrested in Home Invasion

Cromwell police arrested a fourth suspect in connection with a home invasion in January 2007. Hector Colon, 29, has been charged with robbery, burglary, kidnapping and conspiracy. Colon and three other men surprised a woman as she was pulling into her driveway, forced her into her home, tied her up and looted the house of jewelry, cash and electronics, police said.  The men also took the woman's car, which was later recovered, police said. The four men are believed to be part of a crime ring that has robbed other homes around the state.

Police: Man Beat His Grandmother

A 33-year-old man accused of killing his grandmother in her Enfield apartment in June was arraigned Wednesday. Kevin McGuire's bond is set at $1 million. Lillian McGuire, 85, died from a blow to the head, police said. Kevin McGuire is being held at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown following his August arrest on forgery charges. He is accused of stealing and forging his grandmother's checks. Court documents show Lillian McGuire reported her car and her grandson missing seven days before she was found dead.

Threat Slows Holiday Shoppers

The East Brook Shopping Mall in Mansfield has re-opened after a bomb threat Wednesday night. A package with a note stating "BOMB IN MALL" was found outside Kohl's around 5:45 p.m. State police evacuated the mall and searched with police bomb sniffing dogs. The threat appears to be a hoax, police said. The state police major crime squad is continuing to investigate and is looking for anybody who might have information about the threatening note.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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