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Man Seeks Pardon for Parents Convicted of Abusing Him


A man whose parents were convicted more than a decade ago in an abuse case that shocked South Florida says he's forgiven them and is hoping they'll receive a complete pardon.

Ricardo Davila says the scars have healed from the horrendous abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, also named Ricardo, and his mother, Josefa, at the family's Sweetwater home.

The 24-year-old, who now lives with his grandmother in Nicaragua, spoke with a reporter from NBC 6 sister station Telemundo 51.

Teen Ran Away Because of Bullying: Mother

"Let there be no doubt that I've forgiven them," Davila said in Spanish. 

Police say a 12-year-old Davila lived under sheer torture, locked in a bathroom and badly beaten by his parents before the crimes were discovered in 2000.

"He had a medical condition where he would vomit every once in awhile, so when he vomited, the parents would grab him by the hair and make him eat the vomit from the floor," former Sweetwater Police Chief Jesse Menocal said in 2000.

Police said Davila freed himself from the bathroom and ran to a neighbor for help.

Grandmother of Missing Hallandale Beach Boy Allowed to See Children

The Davilas were convicted on charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect, and are expected to spend their lives behind bars. Ricardo Davila was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus 40 more years, while Josefa was sentenced to 89 years in prison.

Despite the abuse, Davila says he will soon travel to the United States to ask Florida Gov. Rick Scott to pardon his parents.

"It's a message I also want to send to Florida's Governor, to let him know what happened is in the past," he said. "What I hope to do with this trip, and with the help of some Nicaraguan agencies, is to obtain a pardon for my parents."

More Local Stories:

Photo Credit: NBC6.com

Power Outage Closes 4 Waterbury Schools


Four Waterbury schools are dismissing early after a crash this morning caused power outages. 

Police said a transformer came down during a crash on Bucks Hill Road.

Bucks Hill Elementary is dismissing at 12:30 p.m., Bucks Hill Pre-K is dismissing at 11:30 a.m., North End Middle School is dismissing at noon and Wilby High School is dismissing at 11:30 a.m.

These are the only schools being affected and there will be no afternoon sessions at them.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Teen Back in Jail After Driving School Stolen School Bus Home: Cops


Turn the bus around, it’s back to jail for this Georgia teen.

Jonathan Cole Collins, 18, took an interesting “joy ride” Sunday in Flintstone when police said he stole a elementary school bus and drove it home – simply because he was tired of walking and didn’t have a ride, WRCB reported.

Having just completed a two-week jail sentence for a misdemeanor marijuana charge, Collins had left his jail cell for mere minutes when he saw keys left in the ignition and decided to steal the school bus to drive himself the 9.5 miles home from jail, according to the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department.

The teenager now faces a felony theft charge for his alleged 20-minute ride on the $40,000 Catoosa County school bus.

“He saw the open bus door, the keys inside, and decided that he wasn’t going to walk anymore,” Fort Oglethorpe Detective James Leamon said. Unknown to Collins, however, was that as the bus ignition started the on-board security camera simultaneously turned on, and recorded the entire incident, police said.

Later when detectives found the school bus and identified Collins from the video, the teenager admitted to the whole thing, police said.

The Catoosa County Schools is now changing its policy for transferring keys among bus drivers after the incident.

Photo Credit: FILE-Getty Images

Threat to Kill 25 Students Led to Lockdown in Weston


Weston High School was placed on lockdown and then evacuated as a precaution because of a threat.

The lockdown began at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, after a teacher found a note with a threat to kill a teacher and 25 students, according to a police source with knowledge of the investigation.

A police officer who was at the school on an unrelated matter was told about the note.

The building was then evacuated and students were moved to other schools as a safety measure, according to school officials.

The note has been sent to the state crime lab for further testing, the source said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Giants Make Sure Will Beatty Isn't Going Anywhere


When your team is as reliant on the play of the quarterback as the Giants are, it's wise to invest some money in making sure that he remains upright. 

That's just what the Giants have done. Multiple reports indicate that the team has signed left tackle Will Beatty to a new five-year deal ahead of the March 12 start of free agency. 

Beatty was set to become a free agent at that point, but the Giants made sure he never made it to the open market by handing him a $38.5 million deal. The deal includes a $12.5 million signing bonus and $19 million in fully guaranteed money, a nice haul for a player who might not have landed as much in a loaded class of tackles in free agency and the draft this offseason. 

None of those players provide the continuity that Beatty provides to the Giants, however, and they clearly put a premium on that over the chance to save a little bit of money by looking in a different direction. They also seem to be placing a bet on Beatty either continuing to improve or maintaining the growth he showed in 2012 after being mediocre or worse through his first three seasons with the team. 

Given the need to find a reliable right tackle as well as the other holes that need filling on the roster, it's hard to argue with that approach. Beatty isn't an all-world tackle, but he's good enough for the task at hand and the Giants aren't going to have to worry that someone else will fail to live up to that standard. 

They seem less concerned about that prospect when it comes to tight end Martellus Bennett and wide receiver Victor Cruz. Bennett sent out a series of tweets on Wednesday indicating that the team hasn't been making much of an effort to get him under contract before he's able to test the open market. 

Bennett was a strong addition to the Giants last season, both as a blocker and a receiver, but the team might be betting that they'll be able to retain him at a price amenable to their needs once the market weighs in on his value. It's a risk, albeit one that is unlikely to make or break the team regardless of how it plays out. 

Losing Cruz would have more harmful effects, although there's much less risk because Cruz is only set to be a restricted free agent. With all signs pointing to the Giants choosing a Hakeem Nicks extension as their top priority for receiver contracts, Cruz is likely going to wind up with a free agent tender that guarantees him around $2.9 million for next year. 

A team willing to give up a first-round pick as compensation for signing the wideout could wind up poaching Cruz, but that happens rarely in a league that's either averse to risk or engaging in collusion to keep restricted free agent prices down. Either way, Cruz has no leverage since he has to play next year to become an unrestricted free agent in 2014 and the Giants, like every other team in the league, are turning the screws on a player without any other option. 

It's the wise move now, but it is one that can have ramifications for the future of their relationship. Cruz made that clear by dropping the "somewhere else" card while talking about his desire for a long-term contract. 

The Giants appear to be comfortable with that risk or at least more comfortable with that risk than they are with the risk of losing Beatty. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Route 9 South Closed in Berlin


Route 9 South is closed in the area of exit 23, the Christian Lane exit, in Berlin.

At least three cars are involved and an ambulance has been called.

Traffic is backed up. Expect delays.

Ryan Hanrahan shot this Vine video.

Photo Credit: Jack Welch

Grandmother Killed 2 Children, Herself: Cops


A grandmother who was supposed to take her two grandsons from daycare to their birthday party at home instead killed the boys and herself, Connecticut state police said.

All three bodies were found in a car Tuesday evening, two hours after an Amber Alert went out for the 2-year-old and 6-month-old. Police have classified the case as a double murder-suicide and said all three had apparent gunshot wounds, according to state police.

The last time Alton, 2, and 6-month-old Ashton Perry had been seen alive was around 2:30 p.m. in North Stonington.

Their grandmother, Debra Denison, 47, left her Stonington home with a revolver and picked them up from daycare, according to state police.

The boys' mother, Brenda Perry, called state police around 4 p.m., when she could not find her sons and their grandmother, state police said.

She said she wanted the little boys to leave daycare early because it was Alton's birthday and they were supposed to open his presents. But the little boys and their grandmother never arrived for the party. 

"I wanted him to come home and play with his new toys and have a good day," Brenda Perry said.

An Amber Alert for  was issued around 7:30 p.m., according to state police, soon after a family member found a suicide note Denison had left behind.

"The mother's level of concern raised, and she reported them missing and evidence was found soon there after that rose our level of concern for the Amber Alert," Lt. Paul Vance, of State Police, said. "As soon as we retained that information, we ramped it up additionally and did everything we could, used every tool to attempt to locate these three people."

Police said Denison suffered from mental illness and Brenda and her husband, Jeremy Perry, told NBC Connecticut that Denison had a gun and suffered from split personalities.

Around 9:30 p.m., two hours after the alert was issued, state police received the call that would reveal the tragic end to the Amber Alert.

A caller said a suspicious vehicle was parked near Lake of Isle in Preston and three injured people were inside the car. Two of them appeared to be children.

Troopers and EMS responded, located the vehicle and a revolver and found Denison and her two grandsons. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Christine Hare, who owns the daycare, said Brenda Perry was a former employee of hers and had called just that morning to ensure that Denison was on the list of people approved to pick up the boys.

Before Denison left with them, they followed protocol, checking her identification, Denison said.

The state police are investigating and the Office of the Chief States Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

"We are certainly going to look at everything having to do with their movements, from the time they were picked up to the time they were located dead," Vance said.

A vigil has been planned for Friday at 7 p.m. at the North Stonington Recreation Facility.

Photo Credit: Perry Family

Man Arrested After Complaining About Anti-Gay Shirt Decision


Police have charged a 68-year-old Torrington man with breach of peace and criminal trespass after he caused disturbances at two schools to  complain about a decision to allow a student to wear a T-shirt with an anti-gay message to school, according to police.

Wolcott schools, under pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, decided to allow a senior at Wolcott High School to wear a T-shirt with a slash through the rainbow after the ACLU threatened to sue.

Derrell Rice, 68, of Torrington, took issue with the decision, according to police, and went to the school to complain.

But, first he lodged the complaint in Plymouth.

Rice, who school officials described as an elderly, well-dressed gentleman, drove to the Plymouth Center School on North Street on Wednesday morning and rang the buzzer to be let in, Plymouth police told Wolcott Police.

When school officials questioned him through the intercom, the man said he was there to register his granddaughter for school, so school staff met him at the door.

But, the man, later identified as Rice, began to express his displeasure with the school department allowing an anti-gay shirt to be allowed in school, according to police.

School officials told Rice that the shirt incident happened in Wolcott and not Plymouth.
They said Rice was upset, loud and causing annoyance and alarm, so the school officials called Plymouth Police and Rice drove away, according to police.

At 10 a.m., Wolcott Police received a call from the Plymouth Police about the incident, so they notified the Wolcott School Department to be on the look-out for Rice.

Soon after, Wolcott school officials called police and said a man who met Rice’s description was there and wanted to be let in. When police responded, they found Rice ringing the buzzer to be let in, police said.

When police asked Rice why he was there, he said he wanted to speak to the superintendent of schools because he did not agree with his allowing a shirt with an anti-gay message to be worn, according to police.

Supt. Joseph Macary met with Rice and told him he understood his concerns and that the decision to allow the shirt was based on the First Amendment, as well as school policy, police said.

Macary then told Rice that he is not allowed on any Wolcott School property and could leave because the conversation was over.

But Rice refused to leave and said he was going to the high school to tell everyone what was going on, police said.

Rice was charged with breach of peace and first-degree criminal trespass because he caused annoyance and alarm and refused to leave school, according to police.

Plymouth police also charged Rice with breach of peace.

Bond was set at $1,000.  

NBC Connecticut was not able to find a phone number for Rice.

Records Reveal Grandmother’s Troubles


Debra Denison, a 47-year-old grandmother who state police said shot and killed her young grandsons last night, had a son serving jail time for murder, according to officials, and town records indicate she was having financial problems.

Denison pick her grandsons, Alton, 2, and 6-month-old Ashton Perry, up at daycare around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday to bring them home for Alton’s birthday party.

Seven hours later, their bodies were found in a car at a lake in Preston.

Police said Denison shot and killed the little boys, then killed herself.

Officials said on Wednesday afternoon that Denison was the mother of Christopher Allen, who is serving a 32-year sentence for the murder and stabbing death of Kyle Sheets on a boat in Mystic in 2008.

There are also town records of Denison’s financial troubles.

Liens were placed for $5,925.96 in state income tax owed as of January 2013, for several debts owed to William W. Backus Hospital, including $2998.23 in January 2012, $450 in February 2011 and $664.60 in August 2005 and $668.00 to Connecticut Behavioral Health ASC in July 2007.

Son, Friend Arrested After Mom Killed, Body Cut Up


A 23-year-old man and his friend have been arrested in connection with the gruesome killing of his mother, whose body was cut up with a power saw and scattered in bags throughout their New York City neighborhood, law enforcement officials tell NBC 4 New York.

Both men have admitted to chopping up the body and using a shopping cart to dump the parts along the curb in the Bronx, but each is pointing the finger at the other for killing the mother, 45-year-old Tania Byrd, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

The initial charges do not include murder. Bahsid McLean, 23, and William Harris, 26, are both charged with unlawful dissection of a human body, among other charges. They were in custody and lawyer information was not immediately available.

Law enforcement officials tell NBC 4 New York that the two men tell different stories. The son says he left the apartment he shared with his mother at about 3 a.m. Monday to go to the ATM. When he returned, he has told investigators, his friend had stabbed Byrd to death and threatened to kill him and his 6-year-old brother if he didn't help get rid of the body.

His friend, meanwhile, has told investigators that the son told him he killed his mother and showed him a photograph of her, dead, asking for his friend's help in disposing of her corpse.

The two suspects agree that they went to a Bronx hardware store to purchase supplies for the job, including a power saw and gloves. Investigators say there are bloodstains at the apartment and that it appears someone tried to clean up the mess with bleach.

An empty power saw box was also found there. The saw was found at the apartment of the friend's girlfriend, officials said.

Law enforcement officials say the pair cut up the body on Monday night and dumped it around 9:30 p.m. Surveillance camera video shows the son in the apartment building lobby, leaving the elevator with numerous bags, and then video outside the building shows two men wheeling away a shopping cart.

Officials say a man walking his dog along 158th Street early Tuesday morning came upon a plastic bag of what he thought were books. As he moved to open the bag, he noticed a vehicle circling the block and became nervous, so he took the bag around the corner and looked inside, finding two hands and a shoulder.

He sent his son to call police and continued walking the dog. About two blocks away on Eagle Avenue he and the dog came upon a suitcase, and the dog sat down next to it. The man opened the suitcase and found a woman's torso, wearing a bra, according to law enforcement officials.

Responding police found a plastic bag further down Eagle Avenue that contained a leg and a foot, and then nearby on Cauldwell Avenue, they found a black suitcase with a leg and the woman's head.

People who knew Byrd were stunned by the grisly killing.

"Every time you see her, she would have a smile on her face," said neighbor Chastity Agosto. "How could a son do that to his mother?


Photo Credit: AP

Surprise Release of Detainees Raises Questions


Immigration and Customs Enforcement's unusual decision to release hundreds of "low-risk" undocumented immigrants from detention may be a straightforward move to cut costs in anticipation of the massive spending reductions scheduled to hit the federal government Friday.

It may also be part of a broader political maneuver by President Barack Obama's administration to force lawmakers to find a way to avert the automatic downsizing.

Whatever the case, one thing seems clear: the action has angered Republicans. That won't make it much easier for the president to achieve one of his top second-term goals: reforming the nation's immigration laws.

The White House says it didn't have any say in the releases and didn't see them coming. That seemed reasonable to Gregory Chen, director of advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington.

"I'd be surprised (if the White House were involved), because if anything, this has a detrimental effect on pushing forward with immigration reform," Chen said.

He added: "It will create some controversy about the immigration issue, and controversy always makes it hard."

Obama wants Congress to pass a law that gives undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, as long as they meet stringent requirements. Republicans and some Democrats want assurances that border security won't be weakened. The president met with Republican senators on the issue Tuesday, just as news of the ICE releases was breaking. The Republicans said the meeting went well.

Around that time, ICE announced that it had started releasing several hundred illegal immigrants from detention centers around the country as a way to deal with the looming automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester. All of those released were put on some sort of supervision until their deportation cases are completed, an ICE spokeswoman said.

Now GOP leaders are furious at ICE, and Obama. They say the releases threaten national security and could be used as a way to "scare" the public about the impending budget cuts, known as a sequester, and give in to groups pushing the administration to soften its detention policies.

There are more than 30,000 immigrants held in public and privately owned detention centers at any one time, the result of a rapid expansion of detentions and deportations under the Obama administration.

The total number of people detained by ICE annually has about doubled since 2001 to more than 400,000. Most have been picked up by police after being stopped for relatively trivial matters, like traffic violations, although there are also many who've been convicted of serious crimes. The result is a huge backlog in immigration courts and a crowding of detention centers, where it costs the government, depending on the source, between $122 and $160 a day per detainee.

Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, accused the president of using the threat of a sequester to pursue a "de facto catch-and-release policy" that was already in the works.

Immigrant rights groups, meanwhile, applauded the move as proof that it made good economic sense to stop detaining low-risk undocumented immigrants who haven't been found guilty of a crime.

Doris Meissner, who headed the Immigration and Naturalization Service under former President Bill Clinton, told the Washington Post that it wasn't clear what ICE's motivation was: scare tactic, policy move or both.

Chen, of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the releases made sense, even if the timing didn't.

"From our viewpoint, a lot of these people shouldn't be in detention anyway," he said. "So, why would ICE have chosen to do it now? Maybe they've finally confronted the budgetary problem, and they need to start making some clear decision."

Photo Credit: AP

Calif. Cop Killer May Have Stolen Police Guns


The 35-year-old man who killed two Santa Cruz, Calif., police officers before being killed himself on Tuesday was angry, distraught and likely stole the service weapons off  police after he shot them dead and stole their car.

That's what Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak said Wednesday at a news conference was a key part of his agency's investigation into why Jeremy Goulet had three weapons — and body armor — when he was found dead after a gun battle with police.

Two of those weapons, Wowak said, likely belonged to Det. Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler, who were both killed about 3:30 p.m. as they were following up on a sexual assault allegation against Goulet in the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue. They died at Goulet's doorstep. Wowak said Wednesday that both officers had been "disarmed."

Still, Wowak said the matter needed to be investigated. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that Goulet owned a .40-caliber semi-automatic Sig Sauer and a Baretta and another gun that wasn't identified.

Wowak also said that after Goulet killed the two officers, he then stole Baker's car and hid in the neighborhood while a massive dragnet that included the FBI, the sheriff's department, as well as Capitola, Watsonville and Scotts Valley police departments and the California Highway Patrol searched for him.

They found Goulet on Doyle Street. That's where teams of officers shot and killed him in hail of gunfire.

The in-the-line-of-duty police deaths are the first for the city of Santa Cruz.

"They were just doing their jobs," Wowak said. "They had done this thousands of times. There should be no second guessing what they had been doing."

Wowak described Goulet, a barista at a harbor coffee shop who had been recently fired over sexual assault allegations, as "destructive in nature," "unhappy in life" and either "suicidal or homicidal." He also said Goulet had been arrested twice in the last week for being drunk in public.

His father, Ronald Goulet, told the Associated Press that his son had numerous run-ins with the law.

Indeed, Jeremy Goulet was found guilty in 2008 of peeping at a woman while she showered in Portland, Ore., and also was convicted of carrying a gun without a permit.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported he was arrested last week for disorderly conduct, and was fired Saturday from his job as a barista at a harbor coffee shop. 

Goulet apparently broke into a co-worker's house on Friday and made inappropriate sexual advances toward her, according to a coffee shop employee who spoke to the paper. He was fired from the coffee shop on Saturday, the newspaper reported.

The female barista filed a police report and talked to police as late as Tuesday afternoon. That may have been what sent investigators back to Goulet's residence Tuesday.

Goulet used to live in Berkeley with his twin brother for about a year, according to a former neighbor, Alicia Morrison. She said she used to housesit for the brothers who would sometimes get into "pretty violent fights."

"I had no idea he would be gun violent, even violent in general," she said. "I thought he was just a peeper, just a little peeper creeper, not an actual violent person."

Goulet also once worked at Cole Coffee in Oakland, where the owner said he was fired after six months for not following company policies.

Because of the tragedy, all Santa Cruz police officers were off work Wednesday. The city was protected by the sheriff's office and the CHP. Churches opened their doors, schools flew their flags t half staff and countless people stopped by City Hall to place flowers and candles at a growing memorial for the slain officers.

Baker had been with the department for 28 years and leaves behind a wife, Kelly, two daughters, Gilian and Ashley, and a son, Adam, who works for the department as a community service officer. 

Butler leaves her partner, Peter, and two young sons. She had carved out a niche in sexual assaults, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said. She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she earned a degree in community studies.

The city was trying to do its best in the wake of such grief.

As police spokesman Zach Friend said: "There is nothing good about this morning. We lost our dear friends yesterday. We lost two community heroes."


 NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.

Fund Established for Grieving North Stonington Family


A fund has been created to help the family of the two boys who were killed by their grandmother.

Alton, 2, and his 6-month-old brother, Ashton, were kidnapped by their grandmother, Debra Denison, from their day care in North Stonington Tuesday afternoon, according to police. Authorities issued an Amber Alert for the boys. They were found dead, along with Denison, in a minivan near Lake of Isles in Preston around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. All three died of gunshot wounds, police said.

The fund has been set up through Chelsea Groton Bank. According to a spokesperson for the Chelsea Groton, people interested in donating to the fund can contact any of the branches located in southeastern Connecticut. For a list of Chelsea Groton Bank branches, click here.

Photo Credit: Perry Family

Foxwoods Announces Job Cuts


Foxwoods told its employees Wednesday that job cuts are coming for the resort casino.

A spokesperson for Foxwoods released a statement Wednesday evening.

"In an effort to streamline our operations and ensure its future growth, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation are required to make difficult decisions in the wake of increased competition and a presently declining market. In the next several weeks we will participate in the process of making a small reduction to our workforce," said Dale Wolbrink.

There is no indication as to how many jobs will be cut or what types of workers will be let go.

"With a solid strategic plan, we will work our way through these difficult times and come out of it stronger; serving the needs of what remains one of the largest work forces in the state and the region," Wolbrink said.

Mother Arrested for Driving Drunk with Kids in Car


A Darien mother is facing charges after police say she was driving drunk with her kids in the car.

Norwalk Police arrested Kathryn Sullivan Tuesday night in parking lot off Grandview Ave after one of the her daughters called a family friend and said her mother was intoxicated, according to officials.

Police said the family friend then alerted authorities.

Officers found Sullivan's 15-year-old and 11-year-old daughters in the car. Police said Sullivan's blood and alcohol level as more than twice the legal limit.

Sullivan was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and two counts of risk of injury to minor. She is scheduled to appear in court on March 7th.

5-Hour Standoff in Bozrah


An almost five-and-a-half hour standoff with an armed man who barricaded himself inside a home in Bozrah ended with the man in custody, but no injuries, according to state police. 

Police responded to 98 Fitchville Road around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday after the man's roommate called and reported that the man was drunk, despondent over breaking up with his girlfriend and had a gun, according to state police.

He was alone, according to police, refused to come out of the house and discharged his weapon, according to state police.

He was taken into custody just before 2 a.m. Thursday.

Three nearby houses were evacuated during the standoff and the residents are now back in their homes, police said.

Police have not released the man's name.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.


Grandmother Who Shot 2 Grandsons Left Suicide Note


New details about the grandmother who police said shot and killed her two grandsons before killing herself emerged on Wednesday night.  

Family members said Debra Denison left a suicide note before she picked the children up from their North Stonington daycare on Tuesday.

Marcella Bartolo, a long-time friend of Denison’s, said she knew Debra for 10 years and Debra spent a lot of time with her grandchildren and took very good care of them. 

Denison struggled with depression, openly discussed being bi-polar in the past and never showed any signs of threatening someone’s life, Bartolo said.

“She told me she was depressed sometimes, but you would never know it she always had a smile on her face,” Bartolo said.

“I was so upset, I didn't sleep all night,” said Bartolo, who is heartbroken over what happened to her friend and neighbor of 10 years on Tuesday.

“I just couldn't believe she would do anything like that. She just wasn't that kind of person,” Bartolo said. 

Investigators found Denison, 6-month-old Ashton Perry and his 2-year-old brother Alton dead in a car in Preston on Tuesday night.  It was Ashton's second birthday.

“She had her grand kids all the time. She had toys and stuff in the backyard for them,” Bartolo said.

Bartolo said she just saw Denison the other day, and never saw this coming.  

Court documents showed Denison had been treated at Connecticut Behavioral Health and it had the state put a lien on her Stonington home for thousands of dollars of unpaid bills. 

Her friend said Denison’s mental state had recently improved and never could have predicted this outcome.

“There must have been something bothering her. She might have gone off her medication. She had done that a couple times,” Bartolo said.

Investigators would not say what led to the killings. 

Authorities have said Denison might have used her husband’s gun, but that was something that is still under investigation. 

Bartolo said Denison never mentioned a weapon.  

“I didn't know she had a gun. She never mentioned guns. I never assumed she had them with the kids in the house,” Bartolo said.

Bartolo said Denison always had kids at the home and told NBC Connecticut she had a granddaughter and a 13-year-old son.

A candlelight vigil for Ashton and Alton Perry is planned for Friday night at the North Stonington Recreation Facility.

Firefighters Save Dog in Ice Rescue


A dog named Huckleberry is safe and back with his owner after a scary plunge into a freezing cold pond in Westport on Wednesday. 

The Westport Fire Department pulled Huckleberry to safety after he went through the ice of on the pond behind 18 Hales Road just before 10:30 a.m.

After receiving a 911 call, firefighters jumped into cold water gear, tethered a rope to shore and went in to get the dog.

An animal control officer took Huckleberry to a veterinarian, where he was treated. Huckleberry is now back with his owner.  

Officials said this was a successful rescue because someone immediately called 911 and did not attempt to rescue the dog. 

The fire department warns never to walk on ice unless you are absolutely sure it is safe. 

If you see a person or animal that has fallen through the ice, immediately call 911. 

Officials said 67 percent of people would attempt to make rescuers become victims themselves. 


Slain Calif. Police Officers Remembered as "Tenacious," "Skilled"


In a rare display of emotion, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel teared up on Wednesday, less than a day after two of his officers were killed in the line of duty - the first such occurrence in city history.

He described the awful predicament of being an agency in  mourning, and one investigating just how and why Jeremy Goulet, 35, would have killed two officers who showed up at his North Branciforte Avenue home on Tuesday about 3:30 p.m. on his doorstep. The officers killed were: Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker, who had been with the department 28 years, and Det. Elizabeth Butler, who had been with the department for ten.

"We have never experienced this before," Vogel said. "There's  absolutely no words for me to adequately stand here before you and describe  what my department's been going through since yesterday afternoon."

Baker had a "tenacious appetite to find the truth," Vogel said, adding that he was once Baker's partner.

"He was my most skilled investigator, Vogel added. "I consider Butch not only to be my coworker but he was also my  mentor, and my friend," Vogel said.

He said Baker acted as a mentor to young officers throughout his career, and that many of those people had surpassed him in rank.

Baker, a 1979 graduate of Bellarmine Preparatory School in San Jose, leaves behind a wife, Kelly, two daughters, Gillian and Ashley, and a son, Adam, who was a community service officer for the police department.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that Baker worked at UC Santa Cruz with Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway, a noted forensic anthropologist, on several notable cases including the still-unsolved case of Pogonip Jane, a woman whose remains were found in Santa Cruz's largest greenbelt in 1994.

Butler was a Los Angeles native and graduated from Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance in 1992. She then attended UC Santa Cruz and earned a degree in community studies and ended up staying in the beach side city, where she lived with her partner, Peter, and two young boys ages 5 and 1.

She wrote her senior thesis on her experiences working with young Latinos, according to UC Santa Cruz's website. She attended the Evergreen Police Academy in San Jose in 2003 before joining the Santa Cruz police.

Vogel said she had developed a niche in the area of sexual assault, and was very experienced investigating those cases. "That's the type of case that she was investigating yesterday when  this tragedy happened," he said.

Before that, she had worked as a patrol officer, hostage negotiator, and an agent assigned to the Santa Cruz County drug task force.

The two had no reason to believe that Goulet would have been so distraught and homicidal when they approached his house after a former coffee shop employee alleged that he had sexually assaulted her, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak.

"They had done this thousands of times," he said at a news conference on Wednesday. "They were just doing their jobs."

None of the 94 sworn Santa Cruz police officers were at work on Wednesday; the city gave them time to grieve. "We've asked them to take the time they need to repair their  agency and develop the internal strength to come back and continue to serve  you as they have the past 150 years," Sheriff Wowak said. 

Sheriff's deputies and the California Highway Patrol were protecting the city. The officers are expected to return to work on Thursday.

Related stories:

Santa Cruz Cop Killer May Have Stolen Police Guns

Santa Cruz Suspect's Dad: He Was a Ticking Time Bomb

Shootout Caught on Tape

"Darkest Day" For Santa Cruz, Two Officers Killed

Two Santa Cruz Police Officers Killed


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WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 24: A boy walks past the Washington Monument on the National Mall August 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Washington Monument will remain indefinitely closed after yesterday's 5.8 magnitude East Coast earthquake left cracks near the top of the 555-foot-tall obelisk. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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