Man Sentenced in Connection With Hit-and-Run Death of Connecticut College Student

A Waterford man who pleaded guilty to charges related to the hit-and-run death of a Connecticut College student has been sentenced to more than four years in prison.

James Sposito, 27, pleaded guilty to charges including misconduct with a motor vehicle and tampering with a witness in the death of Ahmad Anique Ashraf in December 2015. 

Ashraf, a native of Pakistan, was studying art and history at Connecticut College who was expected to graduate in 2017. 

On Dec. 18, 2015, police said they received a 911 call just after 2 a.m. about a body on the side of the road of Route 32 where the driver had fled the scene.

When police arrived, Ashraf was unresponsive on the northbound side of the road and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

A classmate told police that Ashraf, had been at a party to celebrate their film exhibition that night and left, but returned because he forgot his backpack. He left again at 2 a.m. to go to his dorm, according to court documents. Minutes later, police received the 911 calls about a body in the road.

Police identified Sposito, 26, as a suspect after local police departments were asked to be on the lookout for a vehicle with damage consistent with the incident.

An officer saw a damaged vehicle on Clark Place in Quaker Hill, which came back to a car rental company that had rented the car to Sposito, police said.

When police went to talk to him about the incident, he said he hit a deer as he was heading home from a friend's house the night before, police said. 

Police then spoke with witnesses who said Sposito had been out for drinks that night.

One witness reported that Sposito called around 11 a.m. and said he'd hit "something" near Connecticut College on his way home and thought it was a deer, so he slowed down to look, but did not see anything and went home, according to the arrest warrant application.

As police continued to investigate, a witness reported seeing Sposito check the Internet on his phone and say, "I think I hit a person," according to the court documents. 

Sposito allegedly told a witness he found a backpack strap on his window, the court documents said.

Court records note the strap on the backpack Ashraf had was ripped and detached.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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