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Man Killed in New Haven Fire Identified


A man is dead after fire broke out in his apartment at University Towers at 100 York Street in New Haven on Wednesday morning, according to officials, and four other people were injured.

The three-alarm fire started inside a sixth-floor apartment and quickly spread throughout the 17-floor building, according to fire officials. 

Officials identified the man is Charlton Gilbert and the medical examiner determined that he died of smoke inhalation.

Firefighters brought other residents to safety by removing them from balconies, but two residents and two firefighters were injured. One firefighter had chest pains and another injured a foot.

Dorothy Esdaile said firefighters helped her down the steps and she went to the emergency room to be treated for smoke inhalation.

When she returned home, she learned that her neighbor had been killed in the fire. 

"He had been in the building for a long time. He was a single guy. I guess, he lived by himself," she said.

She is tired and upset by what happened, but she is thankful to be alive.

The entire building was evacuated, but residents of apartments that were not damaged have been allowed to return home.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the company that manages the property. They had no comment as of Wednesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Maria Bradley

Surgery Gives Sisters New Smiles


Two young sisters have gotten brand new smiles, thanks to successful surgery to correct a rare dental condition that caused their gums to grow over their teeth.

Muriel Rayo, 12, and Nicole Rayo, 11, debuted their new smiles at a press conference Wednesday morning with the dentists and surgeons who treated them.

"I was happy and I was going to cry, but I couldn't," said Muriel. "I was so happy that I couldn't."

The girls, born with hereditary gingival fibromatosis, underwent surgery at Miami Children's Hospital to remove the excess gums and baby teeth, exposing their permanent teeth for the first time.

The sisters had never seen their permanent teeth before, and doctors said they had never seen anything like their conditions. Surgeon Thaddeus Boucree said cases like Muriel's and Nicole's are "basically one in a million."

"We see cases of gingival overgrowth, where the gums grow, but it's partial. It's really not to the [extent] or the severity of what these two girls had," said Dr. Maria Hernandez, post-grad director of the periodontal department at Nova Southeastern University.

Doctors credited the collaboration between several specialists and the Rayo sisters' positive attitudes with their success.

"Every time they came to the appointments they were so excited," said pediatric dentist Melissa Meincken.

But the girls' father said the years leading up to their transformation weren't all smiles.

"They always had problems at school," said father Norlan Rayo in Spanish. "They were made fun of."

When it comes to bullies, though, Muriel has some mature advice for anyone who gets picked on: "Keep going with your life, no matter what people say."

Braces are next for the pair, and they will have ongoing checkups for at least three years. Muriel said she isn't concerned and is ready to show the world her new smile.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

Hartford Housing Project Facing Major Setbacks


Hundreds of people are waiting to move into the Nelton Court Housing units in Hartford; the only problem is the units are not ready to be moved into.

In Feb. 2010, the Housing Authority of the City of Hartford signed a $22 million agreement with the Simon Konover Development Corporation to design and construct 28 buildings containing 80 low-income housing units.

Konover contracted the project with KBE Building Corporation.

Work began on July 11, 2011 with an estimated completion date of April 9, 2013. In June of 2014, the project is still not done, putting the project more than a year behind schedule.

“There have been various construction issues and we have expressed our concern regarding those issues to the developer,” said Annette Sanderson, executive director of the Housing Authority.

According to Housing Authority representatives, various non-conformance notices have been issued citing Konover for noncompliance with contract documents.

The Housing Authority says they have a full time clerk on the project that monitors all work being done and issues daily reports of deficiencies.

The list of problems plaguing the units only begins with the installation of heat.

According to the Housing Authority, the initial schedule called for heat to be in place by Oct. 2012, but 25 of the buildings did not have heat until March 2014.

Housing Authority representative said the lack of heat for two winters has caused “cosmetic cracking.” They are now in the process of assessing if there is structural damage as well.

Perhaps one of their biggest headaches is the development's sewer system, which is incompatible with MDC systems.

KBE has a different take on the situation. Representatives said the project delay stems from an extended permit process with the city of Hartford and MDC, as well as additional hazardous material discovered at the beginning of the construction process.

According to KBE’s vice president and general counsel Robert Dunn, the company has “no record from the owner of significant cracking or structural damage with any building.” Dunn also said the sewer system design was “reviewed and approved by the MDC” and installed in the presence of an MDC inspector.

The question now is, who is on the hook for all the additional work?

According to KBE, that responsibility falls on the Housing Authority, but the Housing Authority thinks otherwise.

“We expect for the developer to be responsible for making corrective actions and we do not expect the housing authority to be impacted by those corrective actions,” said Sanderson.

KBE representatives said they have requested meetings, but the Housing Authority has not arranged them.

But the Housing Authority said it continues to push Konover to generate and implement a remedial course of action, including a thorough recovery schedule that depicts a final completion date.

The Housing Authority insists it will only accept work installed and completed per the contracted documents and it will not allow residents to live in substandard units.

According to Sanderson there is already a packed waiting list, but the Housing Authority does not believe the work at Nelson Court will be complete until 2015.

Konover had not returned a request for comment as of the time of publication.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

6 Americans Jailed in Honduras


A suburban Philadelphia mother is fighting for her son’s safe return after she says he and five other Americans were unfairly imprisoned during a scuba diving expedition in Honduras.

The family of Devon Butler says the Doylestown native and his dive team traveled to Honduras back on May 1 for a business and humanitarian mission. Butler, 27, is the lead diver for Aqua Quest, an ocean salvaging company based in Florida.

“They were taking mahogany logs from the bottom of a river, which would help with flooding,” said Mike Carroll, Butler’s cousin.

Butler’s mother, Rosemary Carroll, told NBC10 the team also planned on teaching Honduran lobster divers how to dive properly.

In order to protect themselves from pirates, the family said Butler and his crewmates were carrying five guns on their 65-foot boat. It was those weapons that ultimately landed the team in trouble with Honduran law enforcement.

On May 5, as the crew arrived on their boat in Ahuas, Honduras, they were intercepted by Honduran officials. The men were then arrested and charged with smuggling weapons. They have been detained in a Honduran prison since then.

“It’s unjust, it’s not right, and it’s illegal,” Mike Carroll said.

Family members of the crew as well as officials with Aqua Quest insist that the men broke no laws and that Honduran authorities had been alerted of their plans to bring weapons well in advance.

Stephen Mayne, a brother of one of the jailed Americans, told the Philadelphia Daily News that the weapons never even left the boat. Rosemary Carroll also told the Daily News the guns were legally permitted in compliance with international maritime law.

Since their imprisonment, the family has called upon lawyers and lawmakers to find a way to bring the men back home. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who represents Bucks County, has also joined the fight, saying he is working with U.S. officials and has reached out to the Honduran ambassador for help.

"It is my understanding that these Americans were invited by a local Honduran government as part of a humanitarian mission," Fitzpatrick said in a statement. "I will continue to work for their swift release and respectfully ask the Honduran government to act with urgency."

Family members are also asking the public to sign an online petition urging government officials to help with the release of the crewmembers. You can find that petition here.

Photo Credit: Michael McCabe

Backup on Route 15 North in Stratford


Traffic is moving slowly on Route 15 northbound in Stratford after a two-car collision shut down the northbound lanes between exits 52 and 54 on Thursday night, state police said.

According to state police, three people were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Route 15 northbound was still closed as of about 10:30 p.m. but police said at the time it was expected to reopen within the next 10 minutes.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Middletown Leaders Try to Clean Up Downtown Park


Spear Park in Middletown has seen better days. The concrete fountain facing Main Street is broken and now the city is taking steps to tear it down and replace it with grass.

“The line of site through the park is obstructed by the structures in the front,” Mayor Daniel Drew said. “From the street you can’t see what’s going on in the center of the park and we’ve had a few issues with public drunkenness.”

The people who frequent the park say those issues have been overstated.

“There’s nothing more drastic going on now than there has been as long as I’ve been around,” Brian Cushing said. “Is there crime here in the park? There’s crime everywhere in Middletown.”

Cushing acknowledged that excessive drinking frequently takes place at the park. When NBC Connecticut visited Spear Park on Wednesday morning, an ambulance arrived within an hour so paramedics could take care of men who were so intoxicated they were unable to stand up.

“They do need help and we have a robust social service network here,” Drew said. “Our police department regularly interfaces with the hospital so we try to balance getting people help and enforcing the law.”

Bob Norige says there’s no real crime that takes place in the park besides a few “troublemakers.” During a game of setback with three of his friends Norige said the city is overstating the problems at this downtown park.

“There’s not crime," Norige said. “What the crime is is the insolence and idiocy that I’m seeing from the people who are trying to enforce laws on people who have been paying their taxes their whole life.”

Drew says he will work with the city council and the Housing Authority to make the park a safer place for residents.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Immigrant Children Allege Abuse


A coalition of advocacy groups is demanding immediate action to end what they say is mistreatment of unaccompanied minor immigrants at the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents.

Children say they have been punched, kicked and raped while in custody, in a complaint with more than 100 allegations. Others say they were fed only frozen sandwiches, forced to drink toilet tank water or forced to use toilets in front of other detainees.

In a complaint filed Wednesday, one in four children reported some form of physical abuse, ranging from sexual assault to beatings to the use of stress positions.

Five victims' advocacy groups jointly filed the complaint with the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of 116 unaccompanied immigrant children, aged five to 17 years old.

There were multiple claims of sexual or racially-charged insults and strip searches.

A third of the children reported that money and personal belongings were confiscated and not returned.

The coalition says there is also the lack of basic care. In cases documented from March to May of this year, 80 percent of the children said they didn’t get enough food or water.

In a 2014 report that involved interviews of 224 young detainees, more than half of them said they were held in wrist and ankle shackles.

CBP officials say "mistreatment or misconduct is not tolerated" among its ranks. "While in temporary custody, CBP strives to protect unaccompanied children with special procedures and safeguards," it said in an official statement.

But the agencies' complaint lists personal stories from teenagers who say they had a far different experience.

A 13-year-old boy taken into custody in Texas says he was molested by two adult men in the holding cell where he spent the night.

A 17-year-old mother from Guatemala told the coalition that she and her one-year-old daughter were held for nine days. She said she didn’t receive diapers or food for the infant until the third day.

Another detainee, a 16-year-old male, said he and 40 other detainees were given a gallon of water to share.

Other minors said they couldn’t tell how long they had been in custody because the lights in their holding cells were never turned off.

Federal officials deny allegations that food and water are withheld from minor detainees. "Children are provided meals regularly and have access to drinks and snacks throughout the day," they said in a statement.

Under the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protect Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), children in custody of USCBP should get two hot meals every 24 hours. They are to be fed within eight hours of detention. Also, all children, toddlers, and babies and pregnant women are to have regular access to snacks, milk, and juice at all times.

No juvenile is to be held for more than five days.

CBP officials say the agency "does everything within its power to process these children as quickly as possible in order to transfer them to the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours absent exceptional circumstances, as required by law."

"In the face of overwhelming numbers of unaccompanied children crossing the border in South Texas," the statement continues, "U.S. Border Patrol agents have taken extraordinary measures to care for these children while in custody and to maintain security in overcrowded facilities."

The coalition wants the Department of Homeland Security to ensure no child is detained for more than 24 hours.

They also want CBP facilities to be staffed with people who are trained in child welfare and adopt a zero-tolerance policy for employees who abuse juvenile detainees.

“The sheer volume and consistency of these complaints reflects longstanding, systemic problems with CBP policy and practices,” the complaint reads.

The advocacy groups involved are the National Immigrant Justice Center, Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Americans for Immigrant Justice, Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project and the ACLU Border Litigation Project. 

Whale Had Virus in Dolphin Deaths


The recent discovery of a dead whale on a popular New Jersey beach has sparked fears that the illness behind last year’s mass dolphin die-off could be infecting other animals.

A dead minke whale was found washed up on an Atlantic City beach May. While the discovery of graffiti sprayed on its carcass sparked outrage, officials say they discovered something else about the animal that’s even more disturbing.

“It did test positive for morbilli,” said Bob Schoelkopf, the founding director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.

The Morbillivirus is the same ailment behind the deaths of 135 dolphins at the Jersey Shore last year and around 1,300 along the entire east coast.

“It’s not really what you would find in large whales,” Schoelkopf said. “At least, we didn’t think you would.”

Despite this, at least three humpbacks and two pygmy whales that died last year along the east coast also tested positive for Morbillivirus.

“It’s making us concerned that there may be something going on,” Schoelkopf said.

Schoelkopf says officials are currently awaiting test results on two bottlenose dolphins that recently washed up dead.

After a large dolphin die-off in the late 80s, there was no re-occurrence of the measles-like virus responsible for their deaths the following year. Experts say that may not be the case this summer.

“Our concern is that if it comes in contact with a large number of either common dolphins or the off-shore bottlenose, this could be even worse than last year,” Schoelkopf said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

If you notice a dead animal on the beach, call the Marine Mammal Stranding Center immediately.

Photo Credit: Marine Mammal Stranding Center

5 Memorable Quotes from OJ's Trial


Before the OJ Simpson murder trial could even reach a courtroom, the case was already being billed as the “trial of the century.”

Here's a look at some of the most memorable quotes from the controversial case.

1. “Absolutely, 100 percent not guilty.”
Simpson’s famous plea to two counts of murder with special circumstances in the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. (July 22, 1994)

2. If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.
Following a crucial moment in the trial in which Simpson had to squeeze his way into leather gloves linked to the killings, attorney Johnnie Cochran hammered home the theme of the defense with this infamous rhyme.  (Sept. 27, 1995) 

3. "I feel great."
Brian "Kato" Kaelin, houseguest and friend of Simpson and his slain wife, caused some laughter in the courtroom when he responded to prosecutor Marcia Clark asking if he was nervous. Later in his testimony, another round of laughs came when Kaelin said “I don’t think we were going for the same parts,” when asked by Clark about the acting roles he hoped would come his way because of his connection to Simpson. (March 21, 1995)

4. "I did not, could not and would not have committed this crime."
Though Simpson never testified, he was given the opportunity to address the court as he waived his right to take the witness stand. The jury was not in the courtroom when he talked about missing his children and wanting to put the case behind him. (Sept. 22, 1995)

5. "Not guilty."
The verdict was read, and Simpson was acquitted in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. (Oct. 3, 1995)



Map: Key Places in OJ Simpson Case


The interactive map above shows some of the key locations in connection with the "Trial of the Century" and other events in the life of OJ Simpson.

The map includes locations that became familiar to the millions of people who watch both the June 17, 1994 slow-speed pursuit on Southern California freeways and the ensuing murder trial. Locations also include those that played a role in Simpson's life after his criminal trial acquittal.

Click on the locations on the left of the map to learn more about the importance of each site.




Timeline: OJ Simpson Trials


June 2014 marks 20 years since the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of NFL Hall of Famer OJ Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman were found outside Brown Simpson's West LA condominium. OJ Simpson was arrested days after the stabbing deaths at the end of a pursuit that gripped millions of television viewers.

Months later, Simpson went on trial for the murders of his ex-wife and Goldman.

Below, some of the key events in the OJ Simpson murder trial and ensuing civil cases.


June 13: OJ Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and friend Ronald Goldman are found slashed to death outside her Brentwood condominium shortly after midnight. Upon returning to Los Angeles from a trip to Chicago, the ex-football star is taken in for questioning.

June 16: Funerals are held for Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman.

June 17: After failing to surrender and then leading police on an infamous low-speed freeway chase in a white Ford Bronco, OJ Simpson is arrested and charged with two counts murder.

July 8: At the conclusion of a six-day preliminary hearing, a judge orders Simpson to stand trial.

July 20: Simpson offers a $500,000 reward for information leading to the "real killer or killers."

July 22: Simpson pleads “absolutely, 100 percent not guilty.” The case is assigned to Superior Court Judge Lance Ito.

July 27: Goldman’s family files a wrongful death suit against Simpson, alleging he "willfully, wantonly and maliciously" killed him.

Aug. 22: Some DNA test results suggest that Simpson's blood was found at the murder scene.

Sept. 9: Prosecutors announce that they will not seek the death penalty against Simpson. Instead they will ask that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole, if convicted.

Sept. 26: Jury selection begins in the criminal case.

Nov. 3: The jury, a predominantly black group of eight women and four men, are sworn in.


Jan. 4: The defense team drops plans to challenge DNA evidence.

Jan. 11: Prosecutors release documents that detail dozens of allegations of physical, verbal and economic abuse. The jury is sequestered.

Jan. 18: Ito rules alleged evidence of domestic violence is admissible.

Jan. 24: Opening statements begin, with international news outlets and 24-hour video coverage being broadcast into the homes of millions.

Jan. 27: Simpson’s book, "I Want to Tell You," written in response to letters sent to him in jail, goes on sale.

Jan. 30: Attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. completes the defense’s opening statements.

Jan. 31: Sharyn Gilbert, the first of nearly a dozen domestic violence witnesses, is called. The 911 operator said she answered a call from Simpson's home in 1989 in which she heard a woman scream.

Feb. 3: Denise Brown testifies that Simpson abused and humiliated her sister. The defense calls the testimony unfair.

Feb. 12: Jurors tour Simpson's estate, the crime scene, Goldman's apartment building and other key locations.

Feb. 14: LAPD Officer Robert Riske, the first to arrive at the murder scene, describes the bodies and says some evidence may not have been photographed. Under cross-examination, Cochran resumes his effort to show that police mishandled the investigation from the start.

March 13: The defense argues that former Detective Mark Fuhrman is a racist who may have planted a leather glove to implicate Simpson. On the stand, Fuhrman denies the allegations.

March 21: Simpson houseguest Brian “Kato” Kaelin says he can't account for Simpson's whereabouts during the time of the crime.

May 8: Cellmark Diagnostics lab director Robin Cotton testifies that DNA tests show there are only a few people on Earth with the same genetic makeup of blood found at the murder scene, and one of them is O.J. Simpson.

June 12: On the anniversary of the killing, Nicole Brown Simpson's family files a wrongful-death lawsuit.

June 15: At the request of the prosecution, Simpson, wearing rubber gloves, tries on the leather gloves linked to the murders in what some experts view as the trial's key moment. He says, "They don’t fit."

July 6: The prosecution rests.

July 10: The defense begins their case, looking to raise questions about every piece of evidence offered by the prosecution.

July 25: Several defense expert witnesses begin testifying. They cast doubt on DNA evidence by describing contamination in the LAPD lab. The defense suggests the possibility that police planted evidence.

Aug. 29: Excerpts from Fuhrman's comments in taped interviews with a screenwriter are played. Defense says tapes reveal Fuhrman is racist.

Sept. 6: Fuhrman is called back to the witness stand but refused to answer questions about whether he planted evidence against Simpson or falsified police reports, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Sept. 22: The defense and prosecution rests. Simpson tells Ito, ''I did not, could not and would not have committed this crime.''

Sept. 27: Reminding the jury that the gloves did not fit Simpson, Cochran says, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."

Oct. 2: The jury reaches a verdict after four hours of deliberation. It is sealed.

Oct. 3: Verdict is announced. Simpson is acquitted on both counts of murder in the “trial of the century.”


Sept. 18: Jury selection for civil trial begins.

Oct. 23: Opening statements begin.

Nov. 19: Secretly taped conversations of Simpson and ex-wife played for jurors. Simpson described as "animalistic."

Nov. 22: Simpson testifies before a jury for first time. Denies killing Brown Simpson and Goldman but can't explain physical evidence against him.

Dec. 4: Volunteer at battered women's shelter describes call from "Nicole" five days before Brown Simpson's slaying.

Dec. 20: Orange County judge awards Simpson custody of children Sydney and Justin.


Jan. 16: Both sides rest after 101 witnesses and 41 days of testimony.

Feb. 4: The jury reaches its verdict: Simpson is liable in the two deaths.


OJ Simpson Trial: Where Are They Now?


Two decades after O.J. Simpson was acquitted in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman, catch up with the key players of the "Trial of the Century."

Johnnie Cochran Jr.

Famed defense attorney and lead of Simpson's "Dream Team," Johnnie Cochran Jr. was the man behind the phrase regarding the ill-fitting black glove that became a cultural phenomenon: "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." Cochran founded The Cochran Firm, a law firm with offices nationwide. 

He had a television show "Cochran & Grace," co-hosted by former lawyer and political commentator Nancy Grace. In 2005, Cochran died from an inoperable brain tumor at age 67. Simpson was among other celebrities who attended his funeral.

Robert Shapiro:

Robert Shapiro was a key member of Simpson's defense "Dream Team" and took a step back as Cochran led the case. After the trial, Shapiro tried to distance himself from the case and instead entered the world of Internet business. He co-founded LegalZoom.com and ShoeDazzle.com.

Robert Kardashian:

Defense attorney Robert Kardashian was a close friend of the Simpson family and had Simpson as a houseguest immediately after the stabbings. Simpson left Kardashian's home on June 17, 1994, in the back of the infamous white Ford Bronco and led police on a two-hour slow-speed chase. 

Kardashian died after battling esophageal cancer in 2003, but his name lives on through his wildly famous celebrity children, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Robert, and ex-wife, Kris.

F. Lee Bailey:

F. Lee Bailey cross-examined LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman, the man who found the bloody glove, and refused to believe that Fuhrman had never used the N-word. Bailey was later disbarred from practicing law and now lives in Maine.

Marcia Clark

The lead prosecutor in O.J. Simpson's murder case, Marcia Clark became a bestselling author with a nonfiction book about the trial "Without A Doubt." 

She underwent a makeover in the middle of the trial, which some argue overshadowed her prosecution. She has appeared on TV shows including "Oprah," "Larry King Live" and "Today" to comment on legal issues. She also writes periodically for The Daily Beast.

Christopher Darden:

Prosecutor Christopher Darden's memorable moment in court came when he asked Simpson to try on the now-infamous black leather glove, which prompted Johnnie Cochran to demand, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." Many years after the trial, Darden accused Cochran of altering the glove before it was used in court. He currently practices law in Los Angeles.

Kato Kaelin:

One of the most memorable witnesses in the trial, Brian "Kato" Kaelin, now 55, was O.J.'s longtime houseguest . He was trying to get discovered in Hollywood when he moved into the home's guest bungalow and later testified about three loud thuds against his wall the night of the murders. 

Kaelin later appeared on reality TV shows including "Celebrity Boot Camp" and recently started a loungewear clothing line with actress and comedian Rhonda Shear called Kato Potato.

Mark Fuhrman:

LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman discovered the bloody glove outside of Nicole's home, specifically outside of Kaelin's guest house, the night of the murders. During the trial, O.J.'s defense team accused Fuhrman of planting evidence at the scene -- including the glove.

He was later convicted of perjury after recordings in which Fuhrman can be heard using the N-word surfaced -- something he denied doing during his testimony. After the trial, Fuhrman retired and moved to Idaho. He published a book about the case called "Murder in Brentwood" and is a writer and TV commentator.

Faye Resnick

Witness Faye Resnick was a close friend of Nicole who was targeted in court by the defense as a drug addict. Resnick had stayed in a property owned by Nicole until she went to rehab a few days before the murders. 

During the trial, she wrote the best-selling book, "Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted." She went on to pose on the cover of Playboy before starting an interior design business, Faye Resnick Design. She has appeared on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" as a friend of Kyle Richards, Kathy Hilton's sister.

Judge Lance Ito:

Lance Ito acted as judge during the murder trial and made the decision to allow cameras in the courtroom, a move that some argue swayed the jury's ruling because of the media frenzy it allowed. Ito currently works in Los Angeles criminal courts and has refused to give any interviews about the trial.

O.J. Simpson

Orenthal "OJ" Simpson, now 66, was acquitted when a jury found him not guilty in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, but a civil jury in 1997 held him liable for the deaths. The Goldman family was awarded $33.5 million in the case.

In 2006, O.J. wrote a book called "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer," in which he described the hypothetical version of the murders. After much controversy, rights to the book were transferred to the Goldman family.

Simpson was sentenced in 2008 to serve nine to 33 years in Nevada state prison for his part in a 2007 botched armed robbery and kidnapping attempt where a group of men, along with Simpson, tried to retrieve personal items from two sports memorabilia dealers. He testified in 2013 that he was not aware two of the men in the group were carrying handguns when they went to retrieve items he allegedly lost after his 1995 acquittal.

Simpson's lawyers filed an appeal in May 2014 in the Las Vegas armed robbery case. He could have to wait another three and a half years before he’s up for parole. In 2013, defense attorneys Patricia Palm and Ozzie Fume argued for Simpson's parole and said that Simpson’s previous lawyer, Yale Galanter, handled his case so badly he should have been allowed a new trial.

The White Bronco:

Simpson left Robert Kardashian's home in the back a white Ford Bronco -- owned by friend and former football teammate Al Cowlings -- and led police on a two-hour slow-speed chase watched on live TV by 95 million people. Cowlings was behind the wheel while Simpson sat in the back with a loaded handgun, which he used to threaten suicide when a deputy tried to pull over the car. 

The Bronco continued on Los Angeles-area freeways at the low speeds of 35 to 40 mph while patrol cars followed behind for nearly two hours. Hundreds of spectators lined overpasses and freeway shoulders, many waving and cheering Simpson as the Bronco passed.

Now, the famed white Bronco is reportedly available to rent for parties and events. Collector Michael Pulwer bought the Bronco for $75,000, nearly twice its original value.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Ex-Employee Claims Health Provider Sent Him Patient Records


A former employee of a large Connecticut health provider claims the company sent him personal information on tens of thousands of its patients.

It involves an external hard drive that a Ali Eslami claims was mistakenly sent to him after he was fired from Community Health Center. Eslami claims the hard drive has records of at least 130,000 CHC patients on it.

Eslami, the former information technology director for the company said he was fired by Community Health Center earlier this year, after he said he blew the whistle on the non-profit when a Trojan horse was discovered in its computer system, and the company didn’t fully address the problem.

“It is our job to protect that data and find out what happened, what was taken, and I think that they had an obligation to tell employees and patients and they were not willing to do that,” Eslami said.

He recently looked at a box of items the company sent to him after his firing, and found an external hard drive with the patient records.

According to CHC's website, the health care provider treats the uninsured, under-insured, and many patients with AIDS and HIV.

“It’s HIV data. It’s hepatitis data, it’s lab results, it’s, you know, I’d rather have someone hack into my bank account than hack into my electronic health record,” he said.

CHC released a statement to NBC Connecticut on Wednesday:

“Items returned were of a personal nature and did not include any data. They were thoroughly vetted by members of senior management to assure this. Since we severed our relationship with Mr. Eslami six months ago, he has engaged in an online campaign to smear CHC and others and has repeatedly threatened to harm CHC and its employees.”

NBC Connecticut did not look at the data Eslami claims is on the hard drive he received. It would be a violation of patient privacy laws to view it. Because of that, NBC Connecticut cannot verify the authenticity of Eslami's claims.

So far the Department of Public Health says it has not been alerted about this situation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Records Shed New Light on Isla Vista Shooter


New records obtained by the NBC4 I-team shed new light on the troubled life of Elliot Rodger, the man behind last month’s shooting rampage in Isla Vista.

One of the records shows Rodger had one of his roommates arrested, four months before stabbing him to death at the beginning of his rampage.

Rodger called 911 after he said roommate Cheng Yuan Hong had stolen candles from his bedroom.

Officers showed up, and after talking to the two men arrested Hong for the petty theft of $22 worth of candles. Hong was taken to jail and warned not to further harass Rodger or face additional charges.

The records describe an ongoing dispute between the two men over what they say were the disappearances of small household items.

The records also describe a violent altercation Rodger had with a group of four other men in July of 2013. Authorities at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital informed police that a patient there had suffered a number of injuries he claimed was the result of a beating.

When officers interviewed Rodger, records show he told police he was at a party at a home on Del Playa Drive in Goleta, when he was involved in an argument with four other men. Rodger then said the argument turned physical and he was pushed off a 10-foot high ledge onto the sidewalk below.

According to the report, Rodger then said a group of 10 men followed him and began kicking and punching him. During the assault, Rodger alleged, his attackers used a gay slur.

Officers began investigating what they believed was a hate crime.

The investigating officer then appears skeptical of Rodger’s account, saying “Rodger .. appeared to not be forthcoming with me. He … would not go into great detail about what had occurred.”

The records show additional investigation led officers to a witness, who told police it was Rodger who was the aggressor, attempting to push women off a ledge. The witness told police after attempting to push the women, Rodger jumped off the ledge and ran away until others from the party caught up with him.

The witness told the officer “(Rodger’s) demeanor was strange and he did not appear to be socializing with people at the party.”

The report says Rodger sustained injuries to both forearms and elbows. His face was also swollen with other injuries to his face, back, and left ankle.

According to the documents, Rodger’s father Peter Rodger, a film director and photographer, spoke to tenants who lived upstairs from the home where the party took place, who told him they were not home at the time of the alleged assault.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

One Hospitalized After Enfield Fire


A man was seriously injured while trying to remove a burning couch from the basement of a home at 23 Campania Road in Enfield.

Three people were in the home when the fire broke out around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to officials, and the man was taken to the hospital to be treated for serious burns.

Fire officials said the man tried to put the fire out, but was not able to and tried to remove the couch from the house. 

This is the second fire in the home in five years, according to the fire department. Five years ago, smoking materials caused a fire.

The cause of the fire on Thursday morning is not yet known.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

How to Follow the 2014 FIFA World Cup


You may not usually be that interested in soccer, but for the next month you should give it a shot. The FIFA World Cup, which is the world’s biggest single-event sporting competition, kicks off Thursday. Over the next month in 12 venues across Brazil, 32 teams will face off, each with the hope of becoming world champs.

The last team to win was Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. That means fans, from Germany to Argentina, have waited four years for this extravaganza, the pinnacle of a sport that is, for all intents and purposes, an international obsession. You can find up-to-date World Cup news, along with previews of all the teams playing at this year's tournament on NBCSports.com.

Although professional soccer has yet to grip the U.S. the way it has much of the world, the event has an enormous audience. An estimated 715.1 million people tuned in for the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. FIFA, soccer's world body, estimates that the tournament will be watched by some 3.2 billion people around the world.

Host country Brazil has the best track record in World Cup history, claiming five championships since the games started in 1930. It hasn't hosted a World Cup since the 1950 games, which were the first after a 12-year absence caused by World War II. As a result of the war, Italy held the championship for 12 years.

Despite enthusiasm among soccer fans, Brazil has run into all sorts of problems preparing for the games, including massive protests, a 214-mile traffic jam and uncompleted transportation projects. The stadium that will host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia still isn't finished. According to a Pew Research Poll, six in 10 Brazilians believe hosting the World Cup will be bad for their country.

Nevertheless, the 2014 FIFA World Cup promises to be sweeping and historic, a global event watched by people from all walks of life.

Where to watch:

All of the games will be aired live on ESPN and Univision, and 10 matches will be on ABC, including the championship game. They'll also be streamed on WatchESPN and WatchABC. NBCSports.com has a schedule of when and where all 64 matches will air. You can also find a scoreboard, team standings and stats about each team at the NBCSports.com World Cup home page.

The first game is between Brazil and Croatia on Thursday at 4 PM ET. The tournament will run through July 13, when a world champion will be crowned.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Senior Prank Brings the Beach to School


Seniors at Southington High School didn’t skip school to go to the beach. They brought the beach to school.

On Thursday, the school parking lot became a beach. They set down sand, brought beach balls and showed up in beach attire.

When the beach party is over, the school’s agriculture program is all set to clean up the parking lot.

School officials are in the spirit too. School staff members in the principal’s office seemed to find it pretty funny.

This photo is by @GBaker16:

Photo Credit: @lisa_cianciolo

Power Restored in Glastonbury


Power has been restored in Glastonbury after a problem with a line at a substation, but now Waterbury is dealing with a problem because a line is down.

There were 1,525 outages in Waterbury, which affected about 3 percent of the city, but the number is down to 436 outages.

A representative for Connecticut Light & Power said the line is down at South Main and East Main streets.

There were 3,588 power outages in Glastonbury on Thursday morning, but power has since been restored.

Connecticut Light & Power keeps a list of outages on its Web site.


Photo Credit: Noel Powell, Schaumburg, Shutterstock

Hundreds Expected at Funeral for Comedian Jimmy Mack


Hundreds gathered to mourn the Westchester comedian killed in the New Jersey Turnpike crash that critically injured "30 Rock" star Tracy Morgan at his funeral Thursday, paying homage to him on the very stage where he made audiences laugh for years.

A service for James "Jimmy Mack" McNair was held at the Paramount Theater of the Hudson Valley in Peekskill, according to the E.O. Curry Funeral Home. The marquee outside the theater was lit Thursday morning in his honor as mourners lined up outside, recalling their favorite memories of the 63-year-old star.One woman said she'd miss his smile -- and the way he always joked with her and her husband.

McNair and Morgan were riding to New York City after a show in Delaware when a Wal-Mart truck smashed into the back of Morgan's limo, causing it to flip and slide into several other vehicles.

McNair was pronounced dead after the crash. Morgan suffered a broken leg, broken nose and several broken ribs. He's expected to remain hospitalized for "several weeks" according to his spokesman, but is continuing to show signs of improvement and his doctors "remain optimistic that his recovery is progressing."  

Two other passengers, assistant Jeffrey Millea and comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr., were seriously injured, and another, Harris Stanton, was treated and released from the hospital. Millea's wife said he has "shown much improvement over the past few days," according to Morgan's spokesman. 

McNair is remembered as a friend and mentor to Morgan and was active in Peekskill as a frequent volunteer. Friends and relatives say the two met 20 years ago and stayed close.

He also helped care for his sister, who has cancer, associates said, and served as a role model to his son and daughter. A relative said McNair's son was able to comfort mourners at the funeral Thursday, but his 18-year-old daughter was having more trouble coping with the loss of her father. 

"He'd drive her to school every day and take her to get her nails done," the relative said, calling McNair "the perfect dad." 

McNair's family set up a donation fund to help pay for his daughter Denita's college tuition. She is set to graduate from Peekskill High School this spring.

The truck driver, Kevin Roper, pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and assault by auto charges Wednesday in state Superior Court. A criminal complaint alleges that he hadn't slept for 24 hours before the accident.

-Tracie Strahan contributed to this report

Photo Credit: WireImage

Paving Company Operating With Revoked License: Police


Bristol police are warning residents of a door-to-door scam pushing a paving business that lost its license in March, according to the state Department of Consumer Protections.

State officials said Brian Curylo, 28, has a history of defrauding customers and targeting elderly residents.

According to police, Curylo often gets paid up front after promising to fix residents' driveways, but never comes back to do the work.

“It makes me [really] angry,” said Ramon Rivera, a resident of Cynthia Court in New Britain.

Rivera said Curylo used to live in the home above his.

Curylo's company, Hot Top Paving, is registered to that address.

“This guy had no respect for anyone,” Rivera said.

Detectives said Curylo has been soliciting business door-to-door without a license for three months.

According to the Department of Consumer Protection, Curylo allegedly scammed people out of tens of thousands of dollars with unfinished and inferior work.

Court records show Curylo has several convictions on charges filed in New Britain, Bristol, Plainville and Farmington, among others. The charges include but are not limited to larceny, breach of peace and motor vehicle offenses.

NBC Connecticut went to several of Curylo's recently listed addresses but couldn’t reach him for comment.

“Guys like him ruin it for everyone else,” Rivera said, explaining that Curylo reportedly made a mess of his driveway to earn some quick cash. “It was like a spray paint coat.”

“The message we have for the public is be careful, do your research,” said Howard Schwartz, of the Better Business Bureau.

He urges residents to research companies ahead of time and check their credibility before it's too late.

If you look up Hot Top Paving, you’ll see it has a failing grade and that its license is inactive.

“Even if you see a company name on the side of the van ... you have to verify,” Schwartz said.

So authorities warn that if Brian Curylo shows up at your home, don’t give him the money.

Photo Credit: Ramon Rivera and Bristol Police Department
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