Convicted Cop Killer Loses Appeal

A man convicted of killing a Plainville Police officer in 1977 won't be getting out of prison.

The State Supreme Court ruled against Gary Castonguay's argument that he should be let out after 60 years instead of the life sentence he had been given.

Castonguay was found guilty of shooting and killing Officer Robert Holcomb Nov. 21, 1977 during a burglary. He was originally sentenced in 1980 to life in prison, but had that conviction thrown out on technicalities.

Castonguay was convicted again after a second trial and again sentenced to life in prison in 1989.

State law changed in 1981 to define life imprisonment as a 60-year term. Castonguay argued that since his new trial and sentence came after the law had changed, that he should be released after 60 years.

The justices disagreed, saying that the new sentencing guidelines did not apply to Castonguay retroactively because his original crime was committed before the change in the law.

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