Prosecutors Offer Plea Deal to Suspected New Britain Serial Killer

Prosecutors have offered a plea deal to a former drifter charged with killing six people in Connecticut in 2003 and disposing of the bodies behind a New Britain strip mall. 

William Devin Howell appeared in New Britain Superior Court via video on Wednesday, when the possible deal was disclosed. 

Neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys provided details.

The 47-year-old native of Hampton, Virginia, is already serving a 15-year prison sentence for manslaughter in the killing of a seventh victim, 33-year-old Nilsa Arizmendi of Wethersfield.

She and the six other victims — five women and a man — were found buried behind a strip mall.

The other victims were identified as: Joyvaline Martinez, 24, of East Hartford; Diane Cusack, 53, of New Britain; Mary Jane Menard, 40, of New Britain; Melanie Ruth Camilini, 29, of Seymour; Marilyn Gonzalez, 26, of Waterbury; and Danny Lee Whistnant, 44, of New Britain.

Howell sexually assaulted three of the women and kept one of the bodies in his van for two weeks, sleeping next to the body and calling the victim his "baby," according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Howell also told a cellmate "there was a monster inside of him that just came out" and described himself as a "sick ripper," according to the warrant.

He's being held on $10 million bond.

Police said Howell was working odd jobs in Connecticut at the time of the killings.

A plea deal could spare the victims' families from the ordeal of a months-long trial.

Howell is scheduled back in court July 12 to either accept or reject the deal.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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