Case Continued for Accused Kidnapper Hubby

Hartford police have filed charges against Richard Shenkman

Richard Shenkman, the advertising executive accused of holding his estranged wife hostage inside their South Windsor home on July 7 and burning it to the ground last week, will be back in court on July 22. Last week, he was charged in connection with the South Windsor standoff.

Tuesday, he was arraigned on charges Hartford police filed for alleged crimes there.

As Shenkman appeared briefly in Hartford Superior Court Tuesday morning, his lawyer asked that the suicide watch on his client be lifted.

Shenkman is accused of kidnapping Nancy Tyler from a Hartford garage on July 7 before they were to appear in court for proceedings related to their ongoing bitter divorce case.

A judge was expected during that hearing to order him to turn their South Windsor house over to Tyler.

Before the day was done, police said, Shenkman threatened Tyler and later burnt the house down.

Tyler managed to escape without injuries, freeing herself from a bolt that kept her restrained in the lower part of the house. Shenkman was arrested, taken to a hospital, arraigned and placed on suicide watch. He told police he had been planning the kidnapping for eight months, according to court documents.

He was charged with attempted felony murder, arson and kidnapping and his bail was set at $12.5 million. He was later released from Hartford Hospital Thursday and taken to MacDougall-Walker prison in Suffield.

A judge signed the warrant for Shenkman's arrest, which includes four more charges, including kidnapping.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Donna M. Mambrino said during Shenkman's arraignment last Wednesday that he had been free on more than $675,000 bail stemming from previous cases involving Tyler, including allegedly setting fire to a 115-year-old Victorian beach house in East Lyme in 2007, the day he was supposed to turn it over to Tyler.

In court Tuesday, attorney Hugh Keefe also asked that Shenkman be given his antidepressant medications since "he is very difficult to talk to."

Shenkman, who acknowledged he understood his rights, did not enter any plea.

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