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Connecticut Company to Auction Off Record-Setting Truffle


A West Haven, Connecticut, company has found what it says is the largest white truffle ever and the humongous fungus will be going up for auction on Saturday.

Sabatino Truffles, a company with a U.S. headquarters on Front Avenue in West Haven, said it unearthed a 4.16-pound white truffle in central Italy this week.

Truffle enthusiasts are already placing offers, including some from China and Dubai, according to the company and NBC News reported that the offers are for as much as $1 million.

The Balestra family of Sabatino Truffles will auction it off in New York City and donate the proceeds to a charity. Sotheby's will hold the auction at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday and said this truffle is nearly twice the size of the existing record-holder, which sold for $417.200 in 2010. Find more information on the auction here.

On Thursday, the white truffle was hauled to West Haven city hall so witnesses could oversee the weighing in for a Guinness world record, according to the New Haven Register.

Photo Credit: Sabatino Truffles

DA Left Lesser Charge Off Table in Garner Chokehold Case: Source


Staten Island's top prosecutor did not ask grand jurors to consider a reckless endangerment charge in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a source familiar with the case told NBC 4 New York.

District Attorney Daniel Donovan only asked grand jurors to consider manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the cop seen on widely-watched amateur video wrapping his arm around Garner's neck as the heavyset, asthmatic 43-year-old yelled, "I can't breathe!" nearly a dozen times during the July 17 confrontation, the source said.

It's not clear why Donovan left the lesser charge off the table, and he has said strict confidentiality laws surrounding grand jury proceedings prevent him from discussing the details of the case.

Donovan had submitted an application to the court seeking authorization to publicly release specific elements of the proceedings but the only information released when a judge granted his request a day later involved the number of exhibits the jurors saw, how long they heard evidence and how many witnesses they heard it from. The application was sealed, so it's not clear if he had petitioned the judge to release information about the charges the jurors considered.

Asked for comment on the charges considered, a spokesman for the district attorney's office referred NBC 4 New York to a statement Donovan released Thursday after the judge's ruling came out that said, in part, he could only release information contained in the court order. 

"I respect the court’s exercise of its discretion, and will abide by the court’s order. As such, I will have no further comment in connection with the grand jury proceedings relating to the matter of the investigation into the death of Eric Garner," the statement said.

The grand jury in the Garner case delivered a vote Wednesday of "no true bill," which determined there was not probable cause that Pantaleo committed any criminal offense the panel was tasked with considering. The decision set off protests in New York City and across the country.

The NYPD said it's internal review of the case is ongoing, and the U.S. Department of Justice said it also is investigating.  

-Jonathan Dienst contributed to this report. 

Early Results Show Progress With Police Body Cameras


Thousands of police officers across the country have begun to wear body cameras and tens of thousands more are expected to join the trend as a way to curb instances of both police misconduct and as a defense against unfounded complaints against police.

But the case of Eric Garner in New York, where body cameras will begin to be used on Friday, has left people wondering whether the technology can deliver as promised.

Celebrities Chris Rock and Mia Farrow echoed a common refrain among the protesters who took to the streets in New York City and elsewhere after a grand jury declined to indict the police officer who put Garner in a chokehold, in an encounter that was videotaped by a bystander.

“This one was on film,” tweeted Chris Rock, drawing a contrast with the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, another black man killed by a white police officer, who a week earlier also was not indicted.

Since Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, his parents have been calling for officers across the country to wear body cameras, technology that police departments are increasingly employing.

Research on the cameras is still extremely limited — only a few studies have been done in comparison to the thousands of police departments using cameras — but the findings show dramatic declines in both use of force by police officers and complaints brought against officers by citizens, say experts and those from police departments that have been early adopters of the technology. Challenges remain about how to store data, ensure privacy and handle other issues but cameras have extraordinary promise, those in the field say.

“This technology has the potential to redefine police-citizen encounters,” said Michael White, an associate professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University and the author of a U.S. Justice Department report on cameras, “Police Officer Body-Worn Cameras: Assessing the Evidence.”  “I don’t think this technology is going anywhere. I think it’s here to stay."

Garner, a 43-year-old father, was placed in a chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo on July 17 as police arrested him on the street for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. Garner told the officers who subdued him, “I can’t breathe.”

Pantaleo’s lawyer has said the 29-year-old officer told the grand jury that not only did he did not intend to harm Garner but that he was aware that he was being videotaped.

Police officers in three New York City precincts will begin wearing body cameras on Friday as part of a $50,000 pilot program, ordered after a court ruling last year that the police department’s stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional. Mayor Bill De Blasio has said that if the program goes well, the city might budget for thousands of additional cameras next year.

New York joins communities from Los Angeles to Chicago to Miami Beach that are already using cameras or that are testing them. The small cameras, depending on the model, can be worn on the front of an officer's shirt or on glasses, a collar or a shoulder. Once an officer's shifts ends, the data is uploaded to a storage system, whether within the department or to a cloud-based one offered by the camera's manufacturer.

The president of New York City's Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, has objected to the cameras, calling them unnecessary and potentially dangerous for officers already weighted down by mace, radios, handcuffs and flashlights.

“Additional equipment becomes an encumbrance and a safety issue for those carrying it,” he said in a statement in August.

In response to Garner and Brown’s deaths and other racially charged exchanges between officers and the communities they police, President Obama on Monday proposed making $75 million available for 50,000 body cameras for departments across the country. The initiative, which would need congressional approval, would provide a 50 percent match to departments for the equipment.

“These things are good because of that civilizing affect that it can have on everybody involved - the officer who knows that his or her actions are being recorded and the members of the public who know this too,” said David Harris, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Law School who writes about racial profiling and police behavior and regulation. “It’s also a superb device for collecting evidence and it’s a good way that officers can be protected from the occasional bogus complaint.”

Early Results Across U.S.

Signs of progress have emerged in Rialto, California, a small city east of Los Angeles. After half of its 54 patrol officers began wearing cameras in 2012, public complaints against police officers dropped 88 percent, from 24 in 2011 to three during the year of the study. Use of force by the police officers fell by 60 percent, from 61 to 25 instances.

“Now it’s not clear that scaling that up to size of New York City’s police department you would get the same results but if you got even half of that or a quarter of that it would be one of the most remarkable changes that policing has seen in 50 years,” Harris said.

In Mesa, Arizona, where only partial results were available, there was an estimated 60 percent decline in complaints against police officers, according to the report. 

The Fort Worth, Texas, police department began acquiring cameras after some of its officers bought their own, creating issues with the storage of data, said Corporal Tracey Knight. The first department-issued cameras were used in May 2012, she said. Today, the department has the funds for 600 cameras for its 1,560 officers.

The department’s chief, Jeffrey W. Halstead, believed the cameras would show that the department's vast majority of officers behaved well, she said.

“And the very small percentage that don’t can be held accountable for their actions swiftly,” she said by email.

Challenges to Overcome With Body Cameras

Most officers reacted positively to the use of cameras though some worried supervisors would fish through footage looking for minor policy violations, she said.

Before deploying the cameras, police departments must set regulations for the storage of data and for the cameras' use, experts say.

Outfitting officers with cameras is the easy part, White said. Much more difficult is storing data securely, sometimes for years, so that it can be available as evidence in criminal and civil trails and to resolve complaints against officers.

Harris advocates not accepting an officer's version of events if a camera is off on during an encounter with the public -- provided there was no technological problem nor too little time to turn it on. Putting police video on the Internet should be an offense for which an officer is fired, he said.

Departments also need to consider concerns about privacy, once officers enter homes or businesses, and laws can vary state by state, experts say. Issues can arise with minors, people who are mentally ill or victims of sexual or domestic assault.

The American Civil Liberties Union says that although it generally takes a dim view of the proliferation of cameras, body cameras on police officers can serve as a check against abuse.

"We're against pervasive government surveillance, but when cameras primarily serve the function of allowing public monitoring of the government instead of the other way around, we generally regard that as a good thing," says an ACLU report, "Police Body-Mounted Cameras: With Right Policies in Place, a Win For All."

It offers advice on control of the recordings and on limiting the threat to privacy.

The use of cameras is still so new that experts say other issues are likely to arise. More studies are needed, they say.

“There’s always a downside to technology and sometimes it does not make itself apparent until after it’s in use,” Harris said.

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77-Year-Old Stamford Woman Reported Missing


Police have issued a Silver Alert for a missing 77-year-old Stamford woman.

Martha Dubissette was last seen on Thursday, according to the alert.

She has gray hair, brown eyes, stands 5-feet-5 and weighs 135 pounds.

If you have information on her whereabouts, call the Stamford Police Department at 203-977-4921.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Stabbed in Case of Mistaken Identity at Party: Cops


A man stabbed while leaving a birthday party in West Haven early Friday morning was the victim of a case of mistaken identity, according to police.

Police responded to RVP studios at 221 Bull Hill Lane around 1:30 a.m. to investigate a stabbing as well as reports that gunshots were fired during a fight and found a large crowd in the parking lot.

Officers detained Terry Williams, 32, of Bridgeport, who was on the side of the building, and said he is accused of stabbing the victim, who tried to leave the party. Officers believe he mistook the person for someone else. The innocent victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to police.

The victim’s brother later identified Williams at the scene after describing his clothing and description to officers beforehand.

Police said they did not find victims at the scene, but spoke with the manager, who said more than 100 people from Bridgeport had been attending a large birthday party at the studio, where a DJ was playing rap, police said.

The party broke up around 1:30 p.m. after a large fight broke out inside and gunshots were fired near the entrance to the building in the front parking lot, police said.

Officers also learned the stabbing victim was receiving emergency treatment at a hospital for a stab wound to the abdomen.

Williams was later booked, processed and held on bond pending charges of first-degree assault degree and breach of peace.

Officers recovered a knife at the scene.

Bond for Williams was set at $500,000 and he is due in court today.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Silver Alert Issued for 87-Year-Old West Hartford Man


Police are trying to find a missing 87-year-old West Hartford man and issued a Silver Alert for him on Friday afternoon.

Aldo Sciullo was last seen earlier today and is believed to be in the Westfarms area, according to a Tweet from West Hartford police.

He has gray hair, brown eyes, stands 5-feet-6 and weighs 200 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call West Hartford police at 860-523-5203.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

Second Bomb Threat This Week at Bristol School


Police are investigating the second bomb threat at the South Side School in Bristol since Tuesday.

Bristol police are calling the incident today a “routine bomb complaint” and it’s not clear if the school is being evacuated.

An NBC Connecticut crew is on the way to the scene. Check back for updates.

On Tuesday, a misspelled note referencing some sort of bomb threat was found in a bathroom.

In June, two 10-year-olds and a 13-year-old were arrested in connection with a string of school bomb threats in the city. The arrests came after eight bomb scares over a span of nine days.

Then, in September, police increased their presence at Bristol schools and arrested a student after the message "bomb school" was written on a bathroom wall at Greene-Hills School.

In October, Bristol police arrested a 15-year-old in connection with a bomb threat at Bristol Central High School earlier in the month.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspect Says Marijuana Was for Personal Use


A Coventry man arrested after police seized more than 10 pounds of marijuana at his home is saying that what he was doing should not be illegal because he was growing the drugs for his own personal use.

Coventry police officers, along the East Central Narcotics Taskforce and DEA, searched 27 Berry Ave. in Coventry after a lengthy investigation into an illegal marijuana growing operation at the home, police said, and found what they called a “medium-size” indoor marijuana farm in the basement.

The DEA Marijuana ERAD Unit dismantled the growing equipment and police seized marijuana worth an estimated $40,000; marijuana packaging material and smoking paraphernalia; indoor marijuana growing equipment, including growing lights, fans, ventilators and ballasts; 33 marijuana plants and 11 seedlings; two Audis and several televisions, cellphones and computers.

Police arrested two residents, Jason Blakesley, 27, and his 26-year-old girlfriend, Linda Dettore and both were charged with possession of more than four ounces of marijuana, cultivation of marijuana, operating a drug factory, possession of drug paraphernalia

They were also charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, but Blakesley denies that he was selling marijuana.

“I think the laws in this state and the federal laws are confusing and I wish it was all unified so people could understand it,” he said. “Bottom line, I didn’t do anything wrong. I would never put anyone’s life in jeopardy and I care very much about this town and this community.”

However, police said the amount they seized goes well beyond personal use.

Blakesley and Dettore posted $150,000 bond each and will appear in Superior Court, GA-19 in Rockville on Dec. 17.

Photo Credit: Coventry Police

Water Main Break Closes Harbor Road in Westport


A water main break has closed a portion of Harbor Road in Wesport.

The street is closed between Bermuda and Pebble Beach roads, according to the Westport police website.

Police advise motorists to seek alternate routes.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Norwalk Man Charged With Risk of Injury to a Minor


A 29-year-old is facing risk of injury and assault charges after an incident late Thursday night in Norwalk.

Davis Pizarro, of Norwalk, is accused of leaving his two kids at home while he went to two bars and growing aggressive in altercations with several people including his wife, a bar manager and police, according to The Hour.

Pizarro was charged with risk of injury to a minor, assault on a peace officer, disorderly conduct, assault or interfering with an officer.

He was held on a $100,000 bond.

Police did not release further information on the incident.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

Kid Stuns Teacher in Grade Spat: PD


A student attacked a teacher with a stun gun at a high school in the West Village Thursday afternoon, police say.

Police say that the teacher, 30, was arguing over grades in a classroom at City-As-School High School on Clarkson Street at about 1 p.m. and had turned away from the student when she was hit with the stun gun.

The shocked teacher spun around and the student stunned her a second time, hitting her in the chest.

The teacher then ran from the classroom in an attempt to escape from the student, and police were called to the scene.

The student left the school and hasn’t been apprehended, police say. 

The city Department of Education said that the teacher was treated at the hospital after the attack.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bus Services Provided on Danbury Branch Due to "Slip Slide" Conditions


Due to slipping conditions, the Danbury branch of Metro-North will be providing bus service between Cannondale and Branchville stops.

The bus is only for people heading to Branchville, Metro-North said in an alert.

Metro-North said the trains are experiencing 10- to 15-minute delays due to "slip slide" conditions.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Davis / The Feast

Picasso Work Stolen at Art Miami


A silver plate designed by Pablo Picasso was reportedly stolen from Art Miami in midtown Thursday night.

The plate’s owner, David Smith, said he reported the theft to Miami police after finding the plate holder empty Friday morning, according to the Miami Herald.

The plate, designed in 1956 by the Spanish art legend, is worth approximately $85,000.

Art Miami is the biggest satellite fair as part of Art Basel. Last year, more than 75,000 people attended over six days.

Also Thursday night, Perez Art Museum Miami had a piece of artwork accidentally damaged during a private event Thursday evening. According to the Herald, the artwork, called “Drywood,” had one of its 12 concrete spheres damaged by accident.

The Perez Art Museum was in the news earlier this year for the destruction of another piece of art. Miami artist Maximo Caminero, 51, intentionally smashed a $1 million vase by artist Ai Weiwei that was on display at the art museum.

Caminero said at the time of the smashing that he broke the vase “in protest of local artists and the museum only displayed international artists’ art.”

Photo Credit: Beverly Hills Pawn

Rolling Stone Backs Off U.Va. Rape Story


Rolling Stone magazine says it has found apparent discrepancies in the story of a University of Virginia student featured in a November article saying the school's administrators and students keep sexual assaults quiet. 

In a note to readers, the magazine said it regrets not contacting the woman's alleged attackers and apologized to "anyone who was affected by the story." 

The article detailed the alleged 2012 gang rape of "Jackie" by Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brothers and subsequent claims of a cover-up. The article suggested too many people at the university put the reputations of theirselves and the university above victims of sex crimes.

A letter from managing editor Will Dana to Rolling Stone readers says there are apparent discrepancies in Jackie's story. Her alleged assaulters were not contacted at Jackie's request, as she said she feared retribution.

"In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced," the letter read. "We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account."

Dana offered further explanation on Twitter shortly before 5 p.m. Friday.

Rolling Stone did not say what new information prompted the magazine to back away from the story.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring expressed concern with the magazine's apology.

"It is deeply troubling that Rolling Stone magazine is now publicly walking away from its central storyline in its bombshell report on the University of Virginia without correcting what errors its editors believe were made," his statement read.

School President Teresa Sullivan asked police to investigate the alleged rape.

"Our purpose is to find the truth in any matter and that's what we are looking for here," read a statement from Charlottesville Police Capt. Gary Pleasants. "These articles do not change our focus moving forward."

A statement from the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi says the fraternity's cooperation with Charlottesville Police strengthened its doubts about the article.

Jackie said she was invited to a frat party by a member who she worked with as lifeguards at the university pool, but the 2012 roster of employees does not include a member of Phi Kappa Psi, according to the fraternity. The frat also denied having an event the weekend mentioned in Jackie's account.

"We have no knowledge of these alleged acts being committed at our house or by our members," the statement read. "Anyone who commits any form of sexual assault, wherever or whenever, should be identified and brought to justice."

The article prompted protests on campus, vandalism at Phi Kappa Psi, the suspension of Greek activity on campus and an emergency meeting of the Board of Visitors.

The university said it will continue to focus on campus sexual violence.

"Over the past two weeks, our community has been more focused than ever on one of the most difficult and critical issues facing higher education today: sexual violence on college campuses," Sullivan said in a statement. "Today’s news must not alter this focus."

Some advocates expressed anger that the magazine blamed the victim, rather than its own journalistic practices, and that efforts to prevent sexual violence could get waylaid as a result.

"It's an advocate's job to believe and support, never to play investigator or adjudicator," said Emily Renda, U.Va.'s project coordinator for sexual misconduct, policy and prevention, and a member of the governor's Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence.

Renda, who knows Jackie and also was interviewed for the Rolling Stone article, said, "I didn't and don't question Jackie's credibility because that is not my role. Rolling Stone played adjudicator, investigator and advocate -- and did a slipshod job at that."

Renda, a May graduate who said she was raped her freshman year at the school, added that as a result of this, "Jackie suffers, the young men in Phi Kappa Psi suffered, and survivors everywhere can unfairly be called into question.

"We still have to build a culture of support and reporting so that justice can be done right and survivors can find healing. Rolling Stone has run roughshod over years of advocacy, over fairness and justice, and ultimately, over Jackie."

Even before Friday's apology, some students said they found it hard to believe Jackie's characterization of the response of her friends, who she said discouraged her from reporting the crime.

"I couldn't comprehend that behavior,'' said Grant Fowler, a second-year student from Burke, Virginia. "No one I know would do that. I couldn't understand how you could care so little about a person you call a friend."

Fowler said he found the story to be an exaggerated portrayal of the campus.

"The student body is not the Greek scene," he said last week. "The student body is supportive of victims. The student body is not as harsh as portrayed by the article."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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NYC Protesters Storm Apple Store


Hundreds of protesters are taking to the streets and stores in Manhattan for a third night of demonstrations after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict an NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

Starting at Columbus Circle on a rainy Friday evening, the protesters marched to the flagship Apple store on Fifth Avenue and stormed the famous glass cube, going down the stairs and flooding the shop as they chanted "Black lives matter" and "I can't breathe." 

Customers inside the store and employees appeared surprised as the protesters started filing in, then watched as the protesters marched, chanted and later, staged a "die-in" and lay on the ground. 

Police officers walked along with the protesters, monitoring the demonstration and keeping order. 

After leaving the Apple store, the protesters proceeded to Macy's in Herald Square, also filing through the store. They went on to Grand Central Terminal and then to Bryant Park, where they also staged die-ins. Others protested on Wall Street. 

It's not clear why the protesters went to those particular stores to demonstrate. One of the demonstrators, Joyce Skurski, said, "I didn't decide that [destination], but I think the message is this is not business as usual." 

Macy's had no comment.

Last week on Black Friday, people went inside Macy's Herald Square to protest the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict in the shooting death of Michael Brown. They said they were aiming to diminish Black Friday profits in order to make governments take notice. 

At Bryant Park, Ani Charles protested along with her 9-year-old and 13-year-old children.

"I'm here because I really do not want this to be the future for our children," she said. "I want people to know black lives matter." 

While large, the crowd was far from the thousands who flooded streets, blocked traffic and lay down in roads during Thursday night's protests. Police said 223 people were arrested in those demonstrations, a bulk of them on charges of disorderly conduct and a few for minor assaults on police officers.

That's in addition to the 83 people arrested Wednesday, the day the grand jury issued its vote not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo. 

NBC 4 New York learned Friday that Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan only asked grand jurors to consider manslaughter and criminally  negligent homicide charges, and not a lesser charge of reckless endangerment. It's not clear why he left the lesser charge off the table, and he has said strict confidentiality laws surrounding grand jury proceedings prevent him from discussing the details of the case. 

The protests have been largely peaceful and non-violent, with very little vandalism, according to NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who also praised police officers for practicing restraint during the marches. 

"All and all, apart from the significant traffic disruptions, we've been doing OK," he said.  

He added later, after a regular Friday meeting with Mayor de Blasio: "These things tend to peter out on their own. People get tired of marching around aimlessly. And we're going to have a lot of rain tomorrow, so, the history of these things is these don't go on forever. They tend to peter out on their own."

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Friday that fire truck and ambulance response times to emergencies have not been affected by the protests so far.

He added: "Everyone has a right for their voice to be heard, but for their own safety, and for the safety of all New Yorkers, we always ask that New Yorkers keep a safe distance from emergency equipment at all times."  

Pantaleo said in a statement Wednesday that he became a police officer to help people. 

"It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner," he said. "My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”


-- Jonathan Vigliotti contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: AP

Hernandez Wants Trial Evidence Out


Lawyers for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez want evidence from the 2012 double homicide case against him to be excluded at his January trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez, who is scheduled to go on trial next month in the Lloyd case, has also pleaded not guilty in the 2012 fatal shootings of two men after a chance encounter at a Boston nightclub.

His lawyers filed a motion Wednesday to exclude evidence from that case from his trial in the Lloyd case. They also asked to exclude seven other "bad acts" listed in the prosecution's Oct. 31 notice, including:

  • Guns allegedly purchased in Florida and transported via Oscar Hernandez.
  • A May 18, 2013, incident outside a nightclub in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • A rifle, magazine, and ammunition found in a duffel bag inside a vehicle in Hernandez's garage.
  • A .22-caliber ammunition found inside Hernandez's residence.
  • A .22-caliber pistol found in the woods in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.
  • The shooting of Alexander Bradley in Florida on Feb. 13, 2013.
  • A TMZ photograph that shows Hernandez holding a gun.

Hernandez's lawyers argue in the motion that the alleged "bad acts" are irrelevant to any issue before the jury in the Odin Lloyd murder case. They also argue that the value of that evidence would be "substantially outweighed by the risk of undue prejudice to Hernandez and would divert the jury's attention from the charged offense - the alleged murder of Odin Lloyd. Finally, the TMZ photograph cannot be properly authenticated."

[CLICK HERE to read the full motion.]

The motion also references 22 other "bad acts" cited by the prosecution, and asks that the state be ordered to file a detailed order of proof describing "the evidence it seeks to elicit on each such topic and the purported legal basis for admissibility in order to provide the defendant with fair notice and an opportunity to take an informed position with respect to such evidence."

Hernandez's lawyers go on to say that the 30 alleged "bad acts" the prosecution seeks to present evidence about in the January trial "encompass a cornucopia of alleged activities including other shootings, gun trafficking, firearms possession, drug use, a drunk driving arrest, a 2009 photograph, and even a fender-bender."

If allowed to introduce all of even much of that evidence, they said, the prosecution "will have succeeded in transforming a murder trial into a wide-ranging, collateral attack on the defendant's personal history, character, lifestyle, and propensities."

Hernandez is scheduled to go on trial on Jan. 9 for the killing of Lloyd, a semi-pro football player whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez's North Attleborough home in June of 2013.

Fallen Utility Pole Closes Route 12 in Plainfield


Route 12 in Plainfield is closed due to a fallen utility pole.

The road is closed between Lillybridge and Bishops Crossing.

It's unknown how long the road will be closed.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Car Hits Pedestrian in Woodstock


A pedestrian was hospitalized after getting hit by a car on Route 169 in Woodstock, Connecticut Friday night.

Route 169 is closed by Castle Rock Road, according to a Quinebaug Valley Emergency dispatcher. An injured party was taken by ambulance to Day Kimball hospital in Putnam. The accident was reported at about 5:46 p.m.

There's no word on how serious the person's injuries are.

State police have not released information on the accident.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Person Trapped in Car Hospitalized After Crash


Firefighters extricated a person trapped in a car after a crash on the Route 8 corridor in Shelton.

Echo Hose firefighters responded to a report of a crash on Route 8 near exit 13 and rescued someone trapped inside, according to the fire department's website.

A photograph on the fire department's website shows a car on its side, leaning against a pole.

It took about 10 minutes to get the person out of the car and Echo Hose Ambulance transported the individual to the hospital.

A wrecker was called to remove the car.

There is no word on the person's condition and officials have not released the person's identity.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Officials Plan to Euthanize Dogs That Attacked


Animal control officers have notified the owners of the dogs that attacked a 56-year-old healthcare worker in Plainfield, Connecticut on Wednesday morning that they plan to euthanize the animals, according to police.

Lynne Denning, 56, of Canterbury, was viciously attacked by two to four dogs at 379 Putnam Road, in the Wauregan Village, of Plainfield at 11 a.m. as she was caring for an elderly patient, according to police.

She suffered wounds to her face, chest, arms and legs and was in critical condition after the attack, but has been upgraded to fair condition.

Five Rottweilers and a Labrador that were in the Putnam Road home at the time of the attack have been quarantined at the Plainfield Animal Shelter.

Police said on Friday that they have notified the owners of the dogs and the victim's family of the intentions to euthanize all six dogs and the dogs' owners have until Dec. 19 day to put the dogs down or give permission to animal control to do so.

“The Denning family is very grateful for the overwhelming and heart-felt care and concern that their friends, neighbors, and others, have expressed for the, and they greatly appreciate the efforts of those who have offered assistance," the law office of Richard S. Cody in Mystic representing the family said in a statement. "At the present time, the family has its singular and immediate concern for Lynne, and the family is devoting all of its energies to Lynne’s medical care. The family members and close friends will not be making statements at this time, and they appreciate the understanding from their friends, family, and the community, of their inability at the present time to answer phone calls or call people back. They ask that you keep Lynne in your hopes and in your prayers."

The owners can also request a hearing before the state Department of Agriculture to request that the dogs not be euthanized.

"I was just in shock. I think all of us were in shock for a very long time," Brittany Allen, who owns one of the Rottweilers, said earlier this week.

Cody said that, according to the state Department of Agriculture, there's been "no appeal from the owner of the dogs to avoid their euthanasia as being pushed for by the Plainfield Police Department has been received by state officials at this time."

The Plainfield Police Department and the Plainfield Animal Control are investigating and authorities said they have been called to the home at least four or five times in the past couple of years because dogs were fighting or roaming, police said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Denning's medical bills. So far. $2,660 has been donated.

Photo Credit: Family Photo
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