crime

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A mentally disabled man who has served 23 years in prison for a 1987 murder is out on bail following a court order for a new trial.

A Hartford Superior Court judge on Friday set bond at $250,000 for 69-year-old Richard Lapointe, which was posted. His lawyers said their client will be staying with a couple in East Hartford as prosecutors decide whether to re-try him.

A jury in Boston has found 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all counts related to the 2013 bombings of the Boston Marathon. The twin bombings, carried out with his older brother, Tamerlan, killed three people and left 264 others wounded.

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Two men from Massachusetts and Connecticut have been charged in an insider trading scheme that prosecutors say netted more than $1 million. 

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Meriden's director of health and human services has been arraigned on charges she staged a burglary of her office.

Lisa Pippa was presented in court Thursday, accused of falsely reporting an incident. Prosecutors say Pippa ransacked her own office on March 9, and tried to implicate another department employee in the break-in. The Hartford Courant reports:

One of Alabama's longest-serving death row inmates will go free on Friday after prosecutors acknowledged that there's not enough evidence linking him to the 1985 murders for which he already has served nearly three decades.

Jim Michaud / Journal Inquirer

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a brain-damaged man sentenced to life in prison for the 1987 killing of his wife's 88-year-old grandmother.

The high court released the four-to-two ruling Tuesday, saying 69-year-old Richard Lapointe was deprived of a fair trial because prosecutors failed to disclose notes by a police officer that may have supported an alibi defense.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In 2011, the state adopted a Risk Reduction Earned Credit, or RREC program, where certain prisoners can have their sentences reduced by participating in prison programs, and for good behavior. RREC has been controversial, but new statistics show the program has been effective in reducing recidivism rates.

Aundrea Murray / WNPR

The Hartford Police Department is warning residents to be aware of a new phone scam, where the caller tells the victim that their adult child has been kidnapped, and will be killed if they don't wire ransom money via Western Union.

Robert Durst, the real estate millionaire currently being held on murder and weapons charges in Louisiana, is now linked to the 1971 disappearance of a Simsbury college student.

Lynne Schulze, 18 at the time, was a freshman at Middlebury College in Vermont when she vanished on December 10, 1971. 

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Former Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley will serve five months in prison for her role in a campaign consulting scandal involving former Governor John Rowland.

According to reports from inside the federal courtroom in New Haven, Judge Janet Bond Arterton disputed Wilson-Foley's claim that she was a "minor player" in the crime.

Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

A federal judge has denied a bid from former Governor John Rowland for a new trial in the criminal case that could send him to prison for up to three years. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

If you follow Hartford politics, you may remember Kennard Ray's story.

Less than a day after being hired as Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra’s new deputy chief in 2013, Ray resigned from the position. He had a criminal record that Segarra said was "not initially disclosed," but came to light after The Hartford Courant asked questions about Ray's past.  

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

At the conclusion of the HBO documentary The Jinx, the filmmakers presented audio of Robert Durst whispering to himself, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course" — an apparent reference to the alleged crimes that have clouded his life in suspicion.

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office is investigating missing cash from the evidence room of the Springfield Police Department.

    Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri said a preliminary investigation began last month when the department was unable to locate U.S. currency that had been seized in now closed criminal cases. He did not say how much cash is unaccounted for. 

The investigation so far has not turned up any other missing evidence or property such as narcotics or guns. 

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Democrats and Republicans are voicing support for Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy's proposal to give nonviolent criminal offenders more opportunities to reintegrate into society.

Twenty-five years ago at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, two men posing as police officers tricked Rick Abath — the night watchman — into letting them in.

"At the time of the robbery I had just dropped out of Berklee College of Music. I was playing in a band, and working night shift at the museum," Abath said during a recent visit to StoryCorps with his wife, Diana. "I was just this hippie guy who wasn't hurting anything, wasn't on anybody's radar and the next day I was on everybody's radar for the largest art heist in history."

White House

A new HBO series raises new questions about murder suspect Robert Durst. He was found not guilty of one murder but remains on law enforcement's radar for others. The HBO series "The Jinx" is not helping his case. We speak with a New York Times reporter about the latest on evidence presented against Durst on the show.

Also, there is a new push to replace Andrew Jackson with a woman on the face of the $20 bill. The executive director of "Women on 20s" joins us to discuss the process and some of the candidates to replace Jackson.

And finally, this weekend President Barack Obama delivered a speech in Selma, AL to mark the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday." We'll speak to a local professor who was there with her family.

Middletown Police Department

Police have arrested a fifth Wesleyan University student on drug charges stemming from on-campus overdoses that sent a dozen people to the hospital. 

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Police say four Wesleyan University students arrested this week after about a dozen people who took the party drug Molly were hospitalized are known on campus as drug dealers.

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Four Wesleyan University students have been arrested on drug charges in connection with about a dozen hospitalizations among people who took the party drug MDMA, also known as Molly.

The students have been suspended from the university. Charges include possession of a controlled substance, illegal obtaining and supplying of drugs, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

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The Maryland Court of Special Appeals granted a request Friday to review the case of Adnan Syed. He was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and was the subject of the podcast Serial. Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer and National Security Fellow at the New America Foundation, brought Syed's case to the producers of Serial,and has been a leading advocate for his appeal.

Chaudry believes the popular podcast may be in part responsible for a speedy decision that could lead to a new trial. 

On WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, Chaudry said that the latest development in the case is unusual. The opportunity to file a post-conviction appeal doesn't happen often, she said, and when it does, it doesn't tend to move through the system this fast. This is the third attempt in 12 years to appeal Adnan Syed's conviction. 

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There is a lot of news about the fallibility of memory. Brian Williams is currently out of the NBC Nightly News anchor chair because of problems with some of his war stories. Coincidentally, Maria Konnikova wrote about "flashbulb memories" for the NewYorker.com, which is what Williams' problems may be attributed to.

This weekend, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals granted a request to review the case of Adnan Syed. His conviction of murdering his ex-girlfriend was the subject of the podcast Serial, but in many ways was also about memory.

In many high schools over the last few decades, students have been introduced to author Harper Lee through her debut and only novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Many people never expected a follow-up book but last week, it was announced that Go Set A Watchman will be released later this year.

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Non-violent drug offenders in Connecticut soon may get a second chance.

Governor Dannel Malloy announced a series of legislative proposals aimed at drug law reform on Tuesday, which he deemed the "Second Chance Society" initiative, which he said would further reduce crime and reintegrate non-violent offenders into society. The proposals directly contrast zero-tolerance policy stemming from President Ronald Reagan's 1982 launch of the “War on Drugs."

Malloy’s reforms include reclassifying drug possession as a misdemeanor (unless there is intent to sell), eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, revamping the parole and pardons systems to help ex-offenders get jobs, and investing in housing for ex-offenders as they re-enter society. Malloy announced Wednesday he also wants to expand education and employment opportunities for ex-convicts. 

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Roughly 534 Republicans are running for president in 2016, but is anyone other than Hillary Clinton running for the Democrats? Do some Democrats actually want another choice? Our political analyst and Salon columnist Bill Curry joins us in The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable. We’ll also consider Governor Malloy’s new "second chance society" and a Quinnipiac panel on race and justice in America.

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Governor Dannel Malloy's Office of Policy and Management has released new crime statistics for Connecticut, and the news is good, especially for Connecticut's urban areas.

According to the report, the index crime rate in Connecticut hasn't been this low since the 1960s.

Index crimes dropped by 18.2 percent from 2008 to 2013 -- listed by the FBI as willful homicide, forcible rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny over $50, motor vehicle theft, and arson. 

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When I first heard about the work of Find Me, I wasn't sure what to think. On a social visit, drink in hand, I stared across the living room at my impeccable source, Joni Evans, among the most respected and successful professionals in publishing, now retired as Publisher and President of Simon & Schuster and Random House. (Evans serves on the Find Me board of directors.) 

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A Venezuelan hedge fund manager has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for running a massive Connecticut-based investment fraud scheme that involved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Francisco Illarramendi  expressed remorse during his sentencing Thursday in federal court in Bridgeport. He pleaded guilty to several fraud and conspiracy charges four years ago in what federal prosecutors have called their biggest white-collar criminal case ever in Connecticut.

Connecticut Innocence Project

The state of Connecticut has awarded $6 million to a man who was wrongfully imprisoned. Kenneth Ireland served more than two decades in prison --- for a rape and murder that he did not commit.

Voice of America

A federal prosecutor in the trial of accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has accused a defense lawyer of trying to "encourage" a hung jury. 

It's the latest turn in the jury selection phase, which has already taken much longer than expected.

Judge George O'Toole Jr. had set last Monday as the date for opening statements, but he has yet to seat a jury of 12 to hear the case. The trial resumed Thursday after two days of delay because of a massive snowfall in the Boston area.

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You probably think of yourself as a voter. Maybe, in one way or another, you think of yourself as a public servant. But do you think of yourself as a juror?

More than one in seven Americans will be called for jury duty this year. More than one in three of us will actually serve on a jury in our lifetimes.

The fact is that almost every one of us is, almost all of the time, a potential juror. We’re all just one dreaded summons in the mailbox away from deciding matters of life or liberty or property for another person.

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