New London

Navy Sailor Accused of Killing Wife in New London Pleads Not Guilty

Police and fire officials after fatal fire in New London
NBC Connecticut

A Navy sailor who is accused of killing his wife and setting fire to their New London home in July while their baby son was inside has pleaded not guilty, according to court officials.

George Dodson, a 23-year-old Navy sailor, was charged with murder, criminal attempt at murder, first-degree arson and cruelty to animals.

Police and firefighters responded to the family’s home on Sherman Street after a 911 call was made just after 10:30 p.m. on July 20 reporting a possible fire.

Shelby Dodson, 23, was found in the home with life-threatening injuries and she was later pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

First responders rescued a 13-month-old baby boy who was in a crib in a second-floor bedroom, police said. He was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, then moved to Yale New Haven Hospital for observation. Police said his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

George Dodson was found in the backyard with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

During the investigation, he told police he was jealous and killed his wife with a hammer, then set the house on fire, according to court documents.

"We opened up our relationship and she found another man she loved more and I could not stand the thought of it, so I killed her," Dodson told police, according to court documents.

Dodson, a second-class petty officer, has been a member of the U.S. Navy for five years, according to Navy spokesperson Lt. Seth Koenig. He has been based in Connecticut for about three years, Lt. Koenig said.

Naval criminal investigators are working with New London police on the case.

Dodson pleaded not guilty on Monday and he remains in custody.

He is due in court on Sept. 20.

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