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Vernon Remains Not Connected to Missing New Haven Women


Investigators determined that skeleton remains of a woman found in Vernon are not connected to two open missing persons cases in New Haven.

DNA evidence collected from family members of two missing New Haven women, Lisa Calvo and Evelyn Frisco, didn't match the remains, according to Officer David B. Hartman, media liaison for the New Haven Police Department.

"The skeletal remains are not those of either Lisa Calvo or Evelyn Frisco," Hartman said in a news release. "The New Haven Police Department's cases remain open."

The remains were found a year and a half ago at a former landfill in Vernon and Vernon police believe that the skeletal remains are those of a white woman about 40 to 50 years old. They released a sketch on Sept. 16 showing what she may have looked like.

Hartman said that the New Haven cases "never had forensic or evidentiary ties to the Vernon discovery" and that the U.S. Department of Justice's National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS) cross-references "found and missing persons cases where similarities or locations may lead to case closures."

"The only similarity was that the women who went missing were about the same age of the person [whose] remains were discovered," he said, adding that "the Vernon case had been compared to over a dozen cases since the remains were discovered in March of 2013."

He said that the procedure is a "common investigative tool."

"This type of comparison or case inquiry occurs hundreds, sometimes thousands of times each day and is mainly computer generated," Hartman said.

Meanwhile, Vernon police continue to investigate, working to identify the human remains.

1 Month to Register to Vote in General Election


If you have not registered to vote, you have a month to register to vote in the November general elections.

To cast a ballot on Nov. 4, you must register online htpps://voterregistration.ct.gov or by mail by Tuesday Oct. 21 and the final deadline to register to vote in-person at town or city offices is Tuesday, Oct. 28.

This year alone, at least 53,940 new voters have registered, including 15,924 Democrats, 10,303 Republicans and 26,276 unaffiliated voters, according to the Secretary of the State’s Office.

Overall, there are a total of 1,931,880 registered voters in Connecticut, 706,211 of whom are Democrats, 402,840 of whom are Republicans and 803,564 of whom are unaffiliated voters. 

“I strongly encourage any eligible voter with a driver’s license to use our online voter registration system to sign up to vote,” Merrill said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Nov.  4, polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Following is the breakdown of voter registrations in Connecticut:

  • A Better Future: 2
  • A Brookfield Party: 3
  • A Connecticut Party: 1
  • A Sentinel Party: 23
  • Canterbury First: 2
  • Chatham Party: 10
  • Democratic: 706,211
  • Enfield Taxpayers Party: 2
  • Friends Of Saybrook: 13
  • Green: 1,641
  • Guilty: 1
  • Independence: 13
  • Independence For Montville: 8
  • Independent: 15,446
  • Independent Choice: 1
  • Libertarian: 1,691
  • Milford Independent Party: 6
  • Norwich for Change: 1
  • Open: 8
  • Pro-Bethel: 2
  • Realistic Balance: 4
  • Reform: 11
  • Republican: 402,840
  • South Windsor Citizens: 1
  • Spring Glen Party: 8
  • Swing: 1
  • The Hampton Party: 1
  • U-It: 6
  • U/i: 1
  • Unaffiliated: 803,564
  • Unaffiliated (Conservative): 1
  • We The People: 44
  • Winsted Independent: 37
  • Working Families: 276
  • ===========
  • TOTAL 1,931,880
  • Democratic 15,924
  • Green 70
  • Independent 1,205
  • Libertarian 138
  • Reform 1
  • Republican 10,303
  • U/i 1
  • Unaffiliated 26,276
  • Winsted Independent 1
  • Working Families 21

Learn more at the Secretary of the State’s office Web site, including if you are registered to vote, how to register to vote, where your polling place is or to download an application for an absentee ballot if you will be out of town or physically unable to be in their polling place on Election Day.

Stevenson Post Office to Close


The Stevenson Post Office at 281 Cottage Street in Monroe will be closing at the end of the day because the lease is expiring and the U.S. Postal Service is looking for a new location.

A mobile post office will be set up in the short term and customers with post office boxes can pick up their mail at 244 Roosevelt Street in Monroe, about a mile away from the current site, as well as perform retail transactions.

The mobile post office will be open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The blue collection box will also be removed, so customers should drop outgoing mail off at the Mobile Post Office during its business hours.

Residents can also use the Monroe Post Office, at 270 Monroe Turnpike in Monroe, which is 6.5 miles away.
If mail is delivered to your home, service will not be interrupted.

Item requiring a signature will be held at the mobile unit at 244 Roosevelt Ave. in Monroe if you are not home to provide one when a carrier goes to your door.

Residents’ Zip code of 06491 will not be affected.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Seek Woodbridge Bank Robber


Police are investigating after a TD Bank was robbed in Woodbridge on Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, a robber entered the bank at 128 Amity Road around 2:25 p.m. and handed the teller a note demanding money.

The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money and was last seen behind the bank running toward the Amity Shopping Center, police said.

Surveillance footage shows the suspect to be a thin black man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information on the robbery is urged to call Woodbridge police at 203-387-2512.

Photo Credit: Woodbridge Police Department

4 Local Schools Receive National Recognition


Four Connecticut schools have been nationally recognized as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools for maintaining high student performance or closing achievement gaps.

Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, Portland Middle School in Portland and Wamogo Regional High School in Litchfield have been named Exemplary High Performing Schools for high achievement and graduation rates, according to the state Department of Education.

Jefferson Magnet School in Norwalk has been recognized as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School for improving student performance and increasing the graduation rate.

“The schools named today are exemplars of success and deserve great recognition for their accomplishment,” said Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor.

The Blue Ribbon School Program is a national initiative by the U.S. Department of Education designed to recognize academic excellence.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF

Shipments of Flu Vaccine Delayed Nationwide


If you’re planning to receive a flu shot, you may need to be patient this year.

Although vaccinations are not in short supply, shipments from the country’s two manufacturers are delayed nationwide, according to the state Department of Public Health.

“About 150 million doses of the flu vaccine are being made, but because of some technical issues, they are going more slowly than usual,” explained Dr. Kent Stahl of Hartford HealthCare Medical Group.

As a result, it may be November before you are immunized.

“People may have to wait a little longer, but we are asking everyone to be patient and persistent,” said Bill Gerrish, a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health. “The opportunity to get a flu shot is still wide open, and we should have an ample supply by the peak of flu season.”

Some residents said they’re frustrated by the delay.

“A lot of people don’t want to wait,” said Becky Green, of Hartford. “They don’t have the time to wait. They figure since the flu season is here, then they should [be accommodated].”

Gerrish said the health department has enough vaccines to immunize young children ages 4 months to 6 years through at their pediatricians’ offices.

“The influenza won’t come until late December, January, and by that time, we’ll have lots of flu vaccines available and they will have time to work before the flu season starts,” Stahl said.

If you plan on receiving a flu shot at a doctor’s office or pharmacy, call ahead to make sure a supply is available.

Photo Credit: NBC 5

Milford Teen Charged With Sexual Assaulting Minor


An 18-year-old from Milford is facing charges after sexually assaulting a minor at his home on Fairfield Street, according to police.

Henry Goerig was arrested Monday after authorities learned that he had “non-consensual sexual relations” with an underage victim.

He was charged with first-degree sexual assault, third-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and first-degree unlawful restraint.

Bond was set at $150,000. Goerig appeared in court Monday following his arrest.

According to court records, his bond was lowered to $75,000 and he is due back in court Oct. 21.

Jasper Howard Memorial to be Unveiled Nov. 1


A memorial statue honoring slain UConn football player Jasper Howard will be officially dedicated at the university’s Nov. 1 homecoming game at Rentschler Field.

According to the UConn Athletic Department, donations have been pouring in through grassroots fundraising efforts, as well as from fans, teammates and former UConn head coach Randy Edsall, who was leading the team when Howard was killed.

The 20-year-old football player was stabbed to death outside the Student Union after winning the season opener against Louisville on Oct. 18, 2009.

“Jasper Howard represented everything that is good about college athletics,” Edsall said in a statement Tuesday. “He loved being a student-athlete at UConn. His tragic death had a bonding reaction with the entire UConn community that none of us will ever forget for the rest of our lives.”

The design of the memorial statue has not been revealed, but UConn athletics spokesman Michael Enright said earlier this month it will likely be made of stone and will include Howard’s jersey number – six.

Eight people have been charged in Howard’s death, including John Lomax, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to 18 years behind bars.

You can donate online to the Jasper T. Howard Endowed Scholarship Fund, which is awarded every year to a UConn cornerback who embodies Howard’s qualities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Accused W.H. Intruder Indicted


The man accused of scaling a security fence and getting into the White House with a knife was indicted on federal and local charges Tuesday, according to federal prosecutors.

Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, Texas, is set to appear in federal court Wednesday in Washington.

He was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury after they say he scaled the White House's north perimeter fence, ran across the lawn and entered the presidential mansion on Sept. 19 before agents stopped him.

A District of Columbia grand jury also returned a three-count indictment against Gonzalez Tuesday for unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, as well as violating two District of Columbia laws: carrying a dangerous weapon outside a home or place of business and unlawful possession of ammunition.

After Gonzalez was arrested incident the White House, the U.S. Attorney's Office says he gave consent to search his vehicle, which contained hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete.

The federal charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison. The D.C. charge of carrying a dangerous weapon carries a maximum of five years, and the charge of unlawful possession of ammunition carries up to one year.

President Barack Obama and his family were away at the time of the incident on Sept. 19.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: AP

How Is Ebola Spread?


The first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States immediately sparked concerns about who may have been exposed, and helped shed light on how the potentially deadly virus is, and isn't, spread.

Ebola can only be spread by infected people who show symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. If an exposed person does not develop symptoms within 21 days of exposure, the person will not become sick with Ebola, according to the CDC.

"There is no risk to people who have been in contact with those who have been sick with Ebola and recovered, or people who have been exposed and have not yet shown symptoms," the CDC's director Dr. Thomas Frieden explained Tuesday, after confirming that a patient in Dallas had tested positive.

That patient recently flew to the United States from Liberia, one of the West African countries now grappling with a deadly Ebola outbreak. Because he showed no signs of sickness until four days after landing in the U.S., however, officials are not worried about travelers who were on the plane with him.

The initial spread of the Ebola virus to humans is unknown, although researchers believe that "patient zero" in the recent West Africa outbreak became infected through contact with an infected animal, possibly a bat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Once a person is infected, the CDC said there are several ways Ebola can spread to other people via direct contact with:

  • Blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit and semen
  • Objects contaminated with the virus, like syringes or other medical equipment
  • Infected animals, by contact with blood or fluids or infected meat

Direct contact through broken skin or mucus membranes is key, as the CDC said Ebola cannot be spread through the air or by water or food. However, that may not have been the case in some cases in Africa, where Ebola may have been spread through the handling of wild animals hunted for food and contact with infected bats, according to the CDC.

The following symptoms can appear from two to 21 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • Muscle pain

Generally, after 21 days, if an exposed person has not developed symptoms, he or she will not become sick, the CDC said.

However, the Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to three months after exposure, so those who have recovered from the virus are advised not to have sex, or else only to have sex using condoms, during that time, according to the CDC.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

New Haven Moves Forward With 2nd Phase of Downtown Crossing


New Haven's Downtown Crossing Project is moving forward with phase two: the development of the old coliseum site off Orange Street.

The site will soon be home to offices, retailers and residences and will also create a huge change along the Route 34 corridor.

Infrastructure changes will knock out the Route 34 highway and will create a more walkable, connected space.

“What's most important is that it connects the Hill neighborhood to downtown,” explained Mayor Toni Harp.

The project will also connect the city's Ninth Square by shifting the blocks that sit at the corner of the downtown area into the middle of it.

“It's going to create a density back into the area, that's going to be fabulous for all the business people here,” said Robert Greenberg, of ACME Furniture in the Ninth Square.

He only hopes the project happens sooner rather than later and that the city makes sure that the traffic flow in the area is taken into consideration.

“You have to have to have both cars, and bicycles and pedestrians cohabitate in the same land there, and it's a fine line. It takes a lot of engineering, but I think it's going to be done well,” said Greenberg.

That engineering has been a big focus of phase two of the project.

“There will be infrastructure changes. We'll have bike lanes that are raised and separate from roads, which I think everyone will appreciate, the drivers as well as the bikers,” said Harp.

More information on the project is available online.

Wife Shoots SoCal Mayor Dead: Cops


The mayor of Bell Gardens was fatally shot by his wife during a fight at their home Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

Mayor Daniel Crespo, 45, punched the couple’s 19-year-old son, Daniel Jr., in the face when the teen tried to intervene during the dispute, investigators said. The wife then grabbed a gun and allegedly shot the mayor multiple times in his upper body.

Crespo was pronounced dead at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood.

Crespo’s wife, 43-year-old Levette, was detained and questioned at the Bell Gardens police station, sheriff's officials said. Daniel Jr. was also at the station.

The domestic dispute was reported at 2:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of East Gage Avenue in Bell Gardens (map).

According to the city’s website, Crespo was a Brooklyn, New York, native who had been married to his high school sweetheart since 1986. After moving to Bell Gardens, he worked as a Los Angeles County deputy probation officer for 15 years. He was elected to the Bell Gardens City Council in 2001.

California state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) released the following joint statement in response to Crespo's death:

"As representatives and residents of Bell Gardens, today's tragic news about the passing of our dear friend, Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, is shocking and a tremendous loss for our close knit community. Mayor Crespo was a respected public servant who dedicated his life to protecting and helping others in Southeast Los Angeles and throughout the region. Our hearts are heavy with grief today; and our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We ask that the public respect the privacy of his family during the impending investigation."

Bell Gardens is a suburb of about 43,000 residents. It's located roughly 18 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: BellGardens.org

Collection Jar for 9/11 First Responders Stolen


A jar collecting coins for 9/11 first responders was swiped from a Dunkin Donuts location in North Windham and representatives from the charity say the thief got away with about $150 in donations.

According to surveillance footage, the thief entered the Dunkin Donuts store around 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Jim Preston, a firefighter for 18 years and representative from the FealGood Foundation, owns a Willimantic bake shop that houses another collection jar.

According to Preston, the foundation typically collects $200-$300 between the two jars every couple weeks.

“It angers me because they are taking money out of the pockets of the people that desperately need it,” said Preston.

He believes the man caught on camera got away with about $150.

“These times people are desperate, whether it’s a habit they are trying to fix or a way to take care of their families,” said Preston. “I don’t know, but there are different ways of doing it.”

Preston said this is not the first time one of his jars has been stolen, but because so many people are still suffering from 9/11, he refuses to stop collecting.

He cites the hundreds of firefighters diagnosed with cancer following the 9/11 attacks and thousands of other volunteers dealing with various issues of their own.

“I’ll replace that one,” said Preston. “We’ll keep doing good things.”

It’s that attitude that has others lending a helping hand. Preston said this morning he received a call from a Norwich firefighter who donated $150 to match what was in the box.

“Blessings come from bad things,” Preston said.

If you're interested in making a donation, visit the FealGood Foundation online.

Fairness of Hartford Police Exams Questioned


The Hartford Police Department hired an outside firm to give promotional exams for open captain, lieutenant, and sergeant positions months ago, yet those promotions remain on hold since test results have not been certified by the city’s personnel department.

NBC Connecticut has learned there are questions being raised about the testing process. Specifically, sources are questioning whether it was curved to benefit minority applicants.

“We need to maintain faith in the process and when we’re given names or we’re given staff, we’ll put them to work,” said Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department.

The police union has raised concerns with the city, questioning the handling of at least one exam which is the exam for lieutenant positions.

“There were some concerns brought up by the membership in regards to the testing process and scoring of the test itself. We are working with the city to resolve these issues. Hopefully this can be resolved in the best interest of all parties,” said Sgt. Richard Holton, the police union president.

The specific concerns center around whether the written and oral portions of the exam were fairly curved, said Holton. He said there also are concerns over whether military veterans are getting all the preference points they’re entitled to.

Mayor Pedro Segarra acknowledged the questions that have been raised and said the city is working to resolve the problem.

“My objective is to have a highly qualified, efficient, and diverse organization but that needs to be done in conformity with the regulations and the laws,” said Segarra.

For now, promotions at the Hartford Police Department remain on hold.

“Certainly we could use those lists as soon as possible,” said Deputy Chief Foley.

Segarra said he hopes the issues surrounding the promotion lists will be resolved within two weeks.

2 Teens Charged After 1 Brings BB Gun to School: Police


Two teens are facing charges after one brought a BB gun to Emmett O’Brien Technical School in Ansonia and the other recorded video of the teen holding the gun at school and on the bus, according to police.

Both 16-year-old boys were arrested around 8 a.m. Tuesday at the school on Prindle Avenue in Ansonia.

According to police, the first teen, who lives in Waterbury, brought a black Taurus BB gun to school to impress the other student on Monday.

The second teen, from Bridgeport, took video of the first teen brandishing the gun both on school grounds and on the bus, police said.

School principal Laurie LeBouthillier learned of the incident Monday night after a parent sent her a copy of the video, which showed the BB gun protruding from the teen’s backpack, according to police.

Both students were arrested at school the next morning. Investigators searched the first teen’s house and found a second identical BB gun. Both weapons were turned over to the teen’s father, police said.

The teen carrying the gun was charged with carrying/sale of dangerous people, risk of injury to a child, breach of peace/threatening, possession of a firearm on school grounds, conspiracy/intention of committing a crime, threatening and second-degree reckless endangerment.

He was released to his father on $5,000 bond and is due in court next month. Police contacted the Department of Children and Families regarding the incident.

The second teen was issued a misdemeanor summons and charged with breach of peace/threatening, conspiracy/intention of committing a crime and threatening. He was released into the custody of his parents and is also due in court next month.

Arrest After Miami Mass Shooting


The manager of a Miami restaurant where 15 people, including children, were shot during a party last weekend was arrested and given a notice to appear in court for allegedly selling liquor without a license.

Agents with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, in coordination with Miami Police, conducted an inspection of The Spot on Monday and found three bottles of liquor behind the bar, officials said. The restaurant only has a license to sell beer and wine.

That prompted the arrest of The Spot's manager, Tiffany Johnson, 31, and notice to appear in court.

Fifteen people were injured, the youngest just 11 years old, in a mass shooting Sunday morning at The Spot, which initially was reported to be a nightclub but is actually licensed as a restaurant.

Neighbors said the adult club had recently started hosting a teen night that was drawing large crowds.

Of the 15 wounded, one student named Trayvon was reported to be in critical but stable condition Monday. The other victims remaining in the hospital were in good condition. Some victims have been released from the hospital.

Lataara Ingram was one of the students who were shot. Friends told NBC 6 that she is a cheerleader at Booker T. Washington High School.

"Every time you see her, she kept to herself," said fellow student Briana Hines. "She doesn't cause any problems. So when I heard she was shot, it was unbelievable. Little Lataara. Innocent Lataara? Wow."

Police said it’s not immediately clear how many shooters were involved or what prompted the violence.

If you have any information about the mass shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections

Brain Injury Erases Wedding Memory


A Queens couple celebrated a unique wedding anniversary in a Long Island hospital Tuesday, insisting their love helped conquer a near fatal brain hemorrhage.

Tunicia and Raleigh Hall were married in June. A month later, complaining of the worst headache in her life, Tunicia Hall, 43, was taken to the hospital.

She was suffering from what doctors call an "uncommon" type of brain hemorrhage, a form of a stroke that strikes otherwise healthy middle-aged people.

As doctors treated his wife, Raleigh Hall, 50, realized she was losing some of her memory.

At one point, she asked the man she has known for 30 years, "Are we married?”

“I felt like I lost her,” Raleigh Hall remembered.

He covered the walls of his wife’s hospital room with photos of their wedding, in the hope that it would help her remember.

“I was fighting to get her back. Whatever came to mind, I tried," Raleigh Hall said.

Over time, the couple said, Tunicia Hall began to remember.

"The photos drew questions -- when were we married? And she saw something and I believe what she saw was hope," Raleigh Hall said.

Tunicia Hall said the process of recovering her memory was gradual, but she now feels "great" and is in no pain.

The couple marked three months as man and wife at North Shore University hospital in Manhasset, a few floors below the intensive care unit where Raleigh Hall spent weeks at his wife’s bedside.

Hospital staff presented the happy couple with a cake and then offered a toast "to life."

Tunicia Hall's doctor acknowledged that sometimes medical science alone isn’t enough to bring patients back.

“This is a great example of that,” said Dr. Richard Temis. “Patients families are key to recovery.”

"It happens," said Raleigh Hall. "When you see hope, it happens." 

Follow Greg Cergol on Twitter @GREGCERGOL4NY

Bear Cornered After 6-Hour Chase


Animal control officials managed to shoot a bear with a tranquilizer dart after it climbed a tree near a northern New Jersey elementary school, camped out there for a bit and shimmied the 40 feet back down before running off in the opposite direction, leading authorities on a six-hour chase.

Authorities were trying to coax the 301-pound bear down low enough so they could tranquilize it and safely catch it in a net, but the bear apparently came all the way to the ground on its own -- and escaped.

The bear led authorities on a chase through Ridgewood after it climbed about 40 feet up a tree in the front yard of a home near Ridge Elementary School around 9:30 a.m. It ran toward Godwin Avenue and climbed another tree there, then climbed down that one and ran off again before authorities found it nestled in the crook of yet another tree, this time on Lake Street.

The bruin clung to a branch for awhile, but the effect of the tranquilizer dart eventually made it fall into a safety net held by emergency responders. The bear, a male, was not harmed. It will be tagged and marked and driven back to the woods in northwest New Jersey. Authorities said it never behaved aggressively.

No injuries were reported and students in nearby schools were able to go home as scheduled.

An hour before the bear was spotted near the elementary school, sanitation workers reported seeing a bear and two cubs at a leaf dump. Authorities also got a call about a large bear spotted elsewhere in town.

The multiple sightings in Ridgewood come a day after officials at an elementary school in Wayne, a county over, canceled outdoor recess for the second time in two weeks after a bear was spotted wandering through the neighborhood.

Police say the bear in Wayne, believed to be the same one spotted in the area last week, hasn't shown aggressive behavior. It was seen in the woods surrounding the Toys R Us corporate headquarters over the weekend and on various blocks around the Pines Lake neighborhood.

Residents in nearby Oakland have also seen a mother black bear and her cubs walking near houses.

Many homeowners are taking the bears more seriously after Rutgers senior Darsh Patel was killed in a bear attack in West Milford last Sunday, the first fatal bear attack in New Jersey in at least 150 years.

Since the bear hunt in New Jersey began four years ago, the number of bear nuisance complaints have gone down by 43 percent.

But in 2014, the numbers have been going back up, with a 30 percent increase in bear nuisance calls compared to last year. Biologists are still trying to determine why.

Follow Jen Maxfield on Twitter @JenMaxfield4NY 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Hernandez Cites Tsarnaev in Motion


Defense lawyers for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez are citing the high-profile case against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in their motion to have their client's venue changed.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Hernandez's lawyers are seeking to have Hernandez's Bristol County trial moved, arguing that the jury pool has been "poisoned" by prejudicial pretrial publicity. They suggested moving the trial "outside the Boston media market" to Hampden County or Worcester County.

The defense team's primary argument is "a media frenzy, the likes of which have never been seen in recent memory," according to the motion filed by attorney Michael Fee. Twenty-four of the 26 exhibits filed are media accounts, including a search for "Aaron Hernandez" on NECN.com.

Another exhibit filed by Hernandez is Tsarnaev's motion to change venues, which was denied earlier this month.

Fee argues that Tsarnaev was not permitted to change venues from "the large and diverse pool" of about 5 million people, Hernandez only has access to "350,000 to 400,000, if not fewer," potential jurors. Seventy to 80 percent of the pool, Fee says, is "hopelessly biased."

Additionally, Fee says that the media coverage of Hernandez has been more negative than that of Tsarnaev.

"Indeed, the sympathy shown for Tsarnaev in the press, including his portrayal as an impressionable young man under the influence of his Jihadi older brother, is in sharp contrast to the universally pejorative portrayal of Hernandez," he wrote in the motion. "Moreover, this court is acutely aware of the presence of prejudicial publicity in this case, as the danger of prejudice formed the basis for the entry of the so-called "gag order" in February."

The motion also cites the association of negative media attention regarding fellow NFL players, specifically Ray Rice. A Google search of the two men's names was submitted as an exhibit.

"Indeed, the intense media coverage of off-the-field violence by other NFL players is keeping the Hernandez case in the news almost daily and this trend alone, leaving aside other coverage of Hernandez, shows no sign of abating," wrote Fee.

CLICK HERE to see exhibits 1-12.

CLICK HERE to see exhibits 13-26.

CLICK HERE to read the motion.

Hernandez's trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 9, 2015.

Also on Tuesday, the defendant was in Fall River Superior Court for a hearing on the defense's bid to have evidence from his cell phone thrown out. The hearing lasted about five hours, and is set to resume on Wednesday.

Stay with NECN for more on this developing story.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Trooper Accidentally Shot Dead


A Pennsylvania State Trooper died Tuesday evening after he was accidentally shot at a Montgomery County gun range.

Trooper David Kedra, 26, of the Troop K, Skippack station was participating in a training exercise at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Complex in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, around 4:45 p.m. when he was shot.

Officials have not yet revealed what led to the shooting but say a bullet pierced his chest. They also say the shooting was accidental.

A medical helicopter took the trooper from the scene to Temple University Hospital. He was later pronounced dead.

Kedra's body was placed into a hearse and escorted by a police motorcade to the coroner's office on South University Avenue.

Kedra had been a member of the Pennsylvania State Police since June 18, 2012.

"He died serving the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police mourn his loss and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends," state police officials said in a released statement.

Trooper Kedra is the 96th member of the Pennsylvania State Police to be killed in the line of duty.

Investigators say the shooting appears to be accidental.

The gun range at the training center is normally used by law enforcement and first responders.

This story is developing. Stay with us for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com
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