Daily Blotter – Dec. 8

A Roundup of All Things Criminal in CT

‘Predator’ Photographer to Serve 6 Months

A freelance photographer from Connecticut has been sentenced to 180 days in a New Jersey jail in a sex sting. Richard Burnham, 43, of Enfield was sentenced under a plea bargain for attempt to endanger the welfare of a child. He was caught on tape on March 31, 2007, as part of a "Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator" television program.

Burnham had been accused of arranging a sexual tryst with what he thought was a 14-year-old girl. He was sentenced last week in Ocean County, N.J., Superior Court, according to court clerk. While on parole, he could face three to five years in prison if he commits a new crime or fails to register as a sex offender.



Judge in DUI Case Gets Education Program

A state judge facing a drunken driving charge has been accepted into an alcohol education program that could keep her record clean. Superior Court Judge E. Curtissa Cofield was accepted into an alcohol education program Monday in Manchester Superior Court.

Cofield was arrested in October after her car hit a state trooper's cruiser in a construction zone on Route 2 in Glastonbury. A lawyer for Trooper Michael Kowal said the trooper suffered neck and back injuries.

Laptop Stolen, But Not Identities Laptop Stolen, But Not Identities Laptop Stolen, But Not Identities

There have been no reports of any stolen identities 15 months after a state tax department laptop was stolen, state investigators said. The names and social security numbers of 106,000 taxpayers was on the computer. State employee Jason Purslow was suspended for 30 days without pay after the incident. State officials said the computer was password-protected and access was unlikely by anyone without specialized knowledge.

Computer, Cash Stolen in West Haven Home Invasion Computer, Cash Stolen in West Haven Home Invasion

West Haven police are investigating a home invasion on Lydia Street. Two men knocked on the door around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. When the homeowner answered, they pushed their way inside, police said. One man had a gun. They stole cash and a laptop computer. No one was injured, police said.

DNA Leads To New Arrest in Cold Case

The man accused in the murders of three Connecticut teenagers 20 years ago is headed to court Monday. Pedro Miranda, 51, is charged with the murders of Rosa Valentin, Mayra Cruz and Carmen Lopez.  DNA helped connect Miranda to the killings, according to police. Miguel Roman, an old boyfriend of Lopez, has been serving a 60 year sentence since 1990.  He is now petitioning the court for a re-trial.  Miranda could face life in prison or the death penalty if he's convicted. Read more here.

School Fight Lands Mother In Court

A Middletown mother was in court Monday to face charges alleging she helped her child beat another student up. Cassandra Cooper, 38, is charged with risk of injury to a minor, among other charges for the incident last month. Cooper is accused of helping her daughter beat up a student who threatened her in a Middletown High School stairwell. Cooper's daughter said she did get into a fight, but said her mother actually tried to break the fight up. 

Ansonia Alderman in Court

A former Ansonia alderman was in court Monday to face drug charges. Police said they found 1,500 pot plants in Joseph Cassetti's Root Avenue home and in two other properties in Ansonia and Oxford. The drugs have a street value of about $500,000. Cassetti is a former Seymour police officer. He is charged with operating a drug factory. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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