Murder-for-Hire Trial Will be Connecticut's First in a Year

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A Connecticut woman who is accused of having her estranged husband killed is scheduled to have the state court system’s first criminal trial since the pandemic shut down courts in March 2020.

Larise King, 36, will face a three-judge panel on Tuesday. She is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and criminal liability for the acts of another.

The Connectict Post reports that the trial will be held in a courtroom that has been renovated for pandemic safety with plexiglass barriers.

“This trial is the first step in restoring the normal flow of business to the criminal court,” said State’s Attorney Joseph Corradino. “Not only are we going forward with this trial but we are looking forward to resuming jury trials in the near future.”

King’s husband, Dathan Gray, 32, was found lying in a street in Bridgeport in the early morning hours of July 27, 2019. He had been shot five times. Prosecutors say King hired a relative to kill her husband and waited nearby as Gray was shot to death.

King’s attorney, Michael Peck, told the newspaper that his client is innocent. “She didn’t kill him, let’s be clear on that,” Peck said. “It’s clear this was no great love story, this was no Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow and Robert Redford. But she didn’t do it, she didn’t conspire with anyone to do it. She didn’t order anyone to do it.”

The post-pandemic restart of jury trials in the Connecticut courts has been pushed back at least until June, and Peck said he and King decided to have trial before a panel of judges instead. He said his client is eager to get the case resolved.

“For someone who has never been incarcerated and has no criminal history this has been a difficult time for her,” Peck said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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