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Man Stole Designer Glasses From Newington Store: Cops


Police are searching for the man accused of stealing designer eyeglass frames from a LensCrafters store in Newington three times in the past month.

Newington police posted pictures of the suspect on the department Facebook page Wednesday afternoon. He's seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black vest or jacket, black fitted baseball cap and glasses.

According to police, the man first stole from the Berlin Turnpike store on March 17. He returned March 23 and again April 8. Police said employees immediately recognized him during the second and third incidents, but he grabbed the frames and ran out before they could stop him.

The suspect left in different getaway vehicles each time, according to police.

Anyone who recognizes him or has information on the thefts is urged to call Newington police at 860-666-8445.

Photo Credit: Newington Police Department

200 Emaciated Animals Found in NJ


Authorities in New Jersey say they seized more than 200 pets and farm animals from a couple who sells livestock after finding dozens of dead animals strewn about and piled up at their home, which had no heat or hot water since February, and another property where they kept animals.

Animal cruelty charges are pending against Chad Lloyd, 36, and Kimberly Brown, 23, authorities say. The man and woman already face child endangerment charges for allegedly exposing their two young daughters, aged 3 and 10, to numerous decomposed animals at their home in Independence Township and keeping them in a home without proper heating and supplies.

The investigation began April 1 after an animal control officer corralling some loose pigs the couple owned noticed several dead animals in various states of decomposition strewn throughout and near their property. The officer called the SPCA, which responded and found dozens more dead animals -- a number that "shocked" and "overwhelmed" responding officers, the agency said. Dozens of live animals in need of food, water and medical attention, were seized.

Lloyd told officers that he housed more animals at another property in Lafayette, the SPCA says. When they arrived at that location, they found a “large pile” of dead animals, along with dozens more emaciated and sick creatures. Many of the dead animals on the secondary property were chickens.

The dead animals in the couple's residence included cows, chickens, rats, a piglet and goats, including one left in a room attached to the master bedroom, Lloyd told investigators, according to a criminal complaint. Asked why they hadn't been cleaned up, Lloyd allegedly said he "guessed" he was lazy. When Brown was questioned about leaving the dead animals on the property, she said they hadn't gotten around to it with all the snow, according to a criminal complaint. 

"This is a major case and we will provide updates in the next few days. Horrific undertaking at two different locations that will not soon be forgotten by any of our Officers on scene," The SPCA said in a Facebook post.

The SPCA says that the surviving animals have been taken to animal sanctuaries in the state. Several pigs, goat kids, cows and calves, pheasants, chickens and chicks, ducks, geese, hamsters, guinea pigs, turkeys were rescued from the properties. An emu, partridge, chinchilla and a snake were also seized.

The Barnyard Sanctuary took three infant goats found at the property and said in a Facebook post that one of of the kids died shortly after arriving and that they are fighting to keep a second one alive. 

Two other animals have died since being rescued, the SPCA says. The SPCA is asking for donations to help care for the animals. 

A telephone number for Lloyd has been disconnected, while a number for Brown could not be located. They could both face 20 years in prison if convicted on the child endangerment counts.

It wasn't known if either Lloyd or Brown had retained lawyers.


Son Shoots Dad: Police


A man who police say shot his father in the face as they drove along the Schuylkill Expressway in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, did so as his parents took him to rehab.

The revelation about Tuesday evening's shooting came as a judge arraigned Kymere Corbin on 11 counts including aggravate assault, reckless endangerment and carrying an unlicensed firearms on Wednesday.

Corbin, 22, shot his 42-year-old father, Elbert Corbin Jr., with a gun he found in the 2010 Buick LaCrosse as they were driving along the westbound lanes of I-76 near the Conshohocken Exit, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by NBC10.

The elder Corbin and his wife were seated in the front of the car at the time. The wife told police that they were taking Kymere Corbin to the Malvern Institute to be admitted for drug and mental health treatment when argument ensued between father and son over the father's involvement in his son's life.

Corbin then stated "look what he gave me!" as he pulled out the pistol, said the affidavit. A struggle ensued, and as Elbert Corbin tried to pry the gun away from his son, the firearm went off, police said.

Corbin remained on the scene following the shooting as his mother fled on foot, said police.

Corbin originally told investigators that his father took the gun from him and shot himself but later recanted and admitted to accidentally shooting his father during a struggle in the car, said police.

Paramedics who were traveling in the area at the time immediately responded and found Elbert Corbin with a large blood stain on his shirt with trauma to his ear and eye. Elbert Corbin told the medics his son shot him as they transported him to Presbyterian Hospital for treatment, said police.

Doctors listed Elbert Corbin in critical but stable condition and expected him to survive, said police.

Pennsylvania State Police Philadelphia took a blood-stained Corbin into custody and recovered the gun, according to the affidavit.

Westbound lanes on I-76 were closed for several hours as police investigated the shooting.

A judge set Kymere Corbin's bail at $500,000 on Wednesday and was transported to county jail as he awaited preliminary hearing on April 20.

Photo Credit: NBC10

Coyote That Attacked Man in NJ Yard Tests Positive for Rabies


The coyote that attacked a 77-year-old New Jersey man as he was working in his yard earlier this week was rabid, officials have determined.  

The female coyote, which was eventually tracked down and euthanized after the attack in Saddle River Monday morning, tested positive for rabies, according to the New Jersey Department of Health, which conducted the exam.

It is the sixth coyote in New Jersey to be identified as rabid in the last 25 years, according to the Deaprtment of Health. 

John Zeug, 77, received eight rabies shots -- a complete first round of treatment -- immediately after the encounter in his Twin Brooks-area home in the heavily wooded town of Saddle River Monday morning. He's expected to undergo another round of shots Wednesday. 

He said he at first yelled at the animal when it wandered near his home, and it ran into the woods. But the coyote came back and sunk its teeth into him, creating a puncture wound visible through his tattered jeans. Zeug said he didn't see the animal coming.

He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Officers spotted the animal running through a neighbor's yard later in the day and called in animal control and officers from the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, police said. The responding officers found the coyote in the woods and euthanized it, police said. It was taken to a lab for testing.

Authorities believe the coyote made her den under a log cabin on Zeug's three-acre property. Zeug said seven dead coyote pups were found behind the shed; it wasn't clear how they died. 

Saddle River police and city officials are now on the lookout for a possible mate or other possible offspring of the rabid coyote.

Police say they believe the same coyote attacked a neighbor's dog last week; that dog, a labrador retriever named Jack, needed 30 stitches to close his wounds. 

That dog is also expected to receive anti-rabies treatment. 

Workers in the area Monday said they saw a coyote acting aggressively toward dogs; police said coyotes are attracted to the canines' sound.

"She was not scared of us, didn't run ... kind of challenged us and moved away," said Saddle River Police Capt. Jason Cosgriff. "A lot of Saddle River is woods, lots of places for coyotes to run around."

Anyone who sees a wild animal that appears sick or is acting aggressively or is unusually friendly should call police, they say. Coyotes are normally shy animals, according to the health department. 

Authorities have noted that it's become "quite common for coyotes to enter into urban and residential areas and in many cases make small wooded areas their home," according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Last month, a family in Closter showed NBC 4 New York an old doghouse in their yard in which two roaming coyotes had taken up residence.

People who encounter a coyote should never run away; instead, they're encouraged to "haze" the animal with techniques like making loud noises or throwing sticks or objects towards but not at the coyote, the Humane Society says.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

State Senate Passes Bill to Save MxCC Meriden Branch


Middlesex Community College announced last week that it plans to close its Meriden campus in the face of Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget cuts – but with help from state legislators, that may no longer be the case.

The Connecticut Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would keep the campus open, according to the office of State Sen. Dante Bartolomeo, who has been vocal in her fight to save the Meriden branch of Middlesex Community College.

Senate Bill 399 now moves to the state House of Representatives. Meriden legislatures hope the House will approve the measure by next Tuesday, Barolomeo's office said.

In addition to breathing new life into the Meriden campus, Senate Bill 399 would also require state legislators to sign off on the closure of a higher education campus or manufacturing program going forward.

Bartolomeo criticized Board of Regents President Dr. Gregory Gray for planning to shutter the college's Meriden branch after giving his staff $750,000 in raises and paying $1.8 million to an out-of-state consulting firm.

"This attempt to close the Meriden Branch of MxCC was shortsighted and completely unreasonable. I hope Dr. Gray will resume offering classes in Meriden, and if not I will be very upset, but will continue working with the Governor's office and the administration to resolve the situation," Bartolomeo said in a statement Wednesday.

Closure of the Meriden campus would affect about 650 students who take classes there, many of whom are Meriden residents, along with 50 students enrolled in the Meriden Manufacturing Lab.

Autism Awareness Day Comes as Budget Cuts Loom


More than 150 autism awareness advocates converged on the Connecticut Capitol to raise awareness for autism programs and rally for funding.

The event came as Democrats in the General Assembly began crafting their own budget to counter Gov. Dannel Malloy's, which included tens of millions in cuts to the Department of Developmental Services in addition to many other agencies.

"I do think that the budget that the legislature produces by the end of this month will reflect what we think are the priorities that have to be included in our budget," said State Rep. Brendan Sharkey, a Democrat from Hamden and Speaker of the state House of Representatives.

Sharkey added that he's been made very aware of the impact the state has on its residents who live with autism.

"This movement has educated legislators for the last decade or more, and they have moved us to make sure that we are actually providing the funds in the budget for the programs necessary to really deal with this at the earliest stages possible," he said.

Colin McFadden is 19 years old and was diagnosed with autism when he was 7. He's currently in school and is almost finished training to become a volunteer firefighter in Burlington.

McFadden said he would love to see other adults with autism become independent.

"That would be really good," he said. "Even to see them go past me. It’d be really good."

Peggy Embardo's 26-year-old still lives at home. Embardo said she's concerned about what would happen if he were entirely on his own.

"I wouldn’t know what happened if someone came to the door or if there was a fire," she said.

Embardo said additional state funding to open more spots for him to live in a 24-hour assisted facility for adults with autism would be a life changer. She said he's been on a waiting list for years.

"It would probably give him more opportunities to be independent of me and out of the house," Embardo said.

Democrats are expected to unveil their own budget before the end of April.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hartford Police Seize Thousands of Bags of Heroin


Hartford police narcotics detectives seized thousands of bags of heroin from the South End of the city on Wednesday morning during two drug busts.

One investigation was into a home on Maple Avenue in Hartford.

Police said they received information that a large amount of heroin was being packaged at 1067 Maple Ave., so detectives from the Hartford Police vice, intelligence and narcotics divisions, as well as members of the South Conditions Unit and State Police Task Force, set up surveillance and saw someone carrting a large bag into a car.

When police stopped the vehicle, the person inside got out of the car and tried to flee from police.

Police identified him as Jorge Rivera, 25, of Hartford, and said they found him with 1.600 bags of heroin. 

When police searched the house, they found 3,400 bags of heroin and 144 grams of pure heroin, along with packaging material, police said.  Rivera was arrested on a federal narcotics charge.

Undercover detectives also made two arrests after setting up surveillance on Albany Avenue.   

Police said the two targets of the investigation traveled to Franklin Avenue and Preston Street, where officers stopped them. A K-9 search the vehicle led investigators to find 300 grams of pure heroin, police said.

When police searched the targets’ "stash" house at 210 Farmington Ave., they found $25,000 in cash, along with 565 grams of pure heroin and a loaded gun magazine, police said.

When officers searched a second suspected stash house at 1021 Asylum Ave., they found around 400 individual bags of heroin.

Yhonathan Perdomo, 27, of 210 Farmington Avenue in Hartford, was arrested and charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of a school and drug factory.

Julio Soto, 30, of 1021 Asylum Avenue in Hartford, was charged with possession of narcotics, possession with intent to sell narcotics, and possession with intent to sell within 1,500 feet of school.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

President Congratulates UConn on 10th National Title


The day after the UConn Huskies defeated Notre Dame to take home a tenth national title – their third in a row – President Barack Obama called coach Geno Auriemma to congratulate the team.

"The President noted that under Coach Auriemma's leadership, the Huskies have won ten national championship titles and have made the University of Connecticut Women's Basketball program a sports powerhouse," the White House press secretary wrote in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

Obama told Auriemma he "looks forward to welcoming the team back to the White House to celebrate their victory."

The Huskies arrived home from Florida late Wednesday afternoon and will take a victory lap around campus when they return to Storrs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Granby Police Singled Out in Racial Profiling Report


A new report taking up the topic of racial profiling during police traffic stops singles out several municipalities that have higher-than-average rates of traffic stops involving minority drivers, of which Granby is one.

Granby Police Chief Carl Rosensweig said he didn't want to comment on the data until he met with researchers from the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy, the group at Connecticut State University that compiled the data and authored the report.

In a statement, the department defended its reputation and urged caution in reaching any conclusions from the report. The department reiterated that its officers police the town with the utmost integrity.

"There is no excuse for policing based on bias, racial or otherwise," the Granby Police Department said in a statement.

The department went on to convey that Granby officers follow also state policies when it comes to documenting traffic stops and providing information to drivers who have been stopped.

"Officers are required to pass out a form to each motorist that explains the law and notifies them how to make a complaint if they feel the stop was bias related," the statement says. "There have been no complaints from citizens."

The study analyzed 1,484 traffic stops in Granby. Researchers revealed that 85 of them involved black drivers and 42 involved Hispanic drivers.

According to the U.S. Census, both figures represent higher percentages of each group when comparing population to traffic stop data.

U.S. Census figures show about 96 percent of Granby residents are Caucasian, while about 2.8 percent are Hispanic. The number of traffic stops of the same groups made up 8.5 percent according to the study.

State to Receive Federal Aid for January Blizzard


The office of Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Wednesday afternoon that the state will receive federal aid in connection with the January blizzard that buried parts of the state under nearly 3 feet of snow.

Federal funds will benefit Connecticut state agencies, along with towns in New London, Windham and Tolland counties and the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations, according to Malloy's office.

Those agencies and municipalities will be reimbursed 75 percent of the money they spent cleaning up after the blizzard, which hit the state Jan. 26-28 of this year.

It comes with the blessing of President Barack Obama, who on Wednesday approved Malloy's request to declare a major disaster in Connecticut.

"We had extraordinary weather this winter – and through smart decisions, we got through it. We’re pleased that we were successful in our application," Malloy said in a statement Wednesday. "This declaration will provide much needed financial assistance to the state and to the municipalities hardest hit by the January blizzard."

All Connecticut counties and tribal nations are can also apply for financial assisance under the Federam Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, according to the governor's office.

Donations Pouring in for Widow of Murdered Gas Station Clerk


Community members are rallying around the widow of a gas station clerk shot and killed Monday night during a botched robbery in New Haven.

Sanjay Patel, 39, was shot several times at a gas station on Forbes Avenue and died at the hospital. He leaves behind wife Bhavana "Bee" Chavada, who tried for 10 years to get pregnant and is now six months along with the couple's first child.

"My heart is already broken," Chavada said during an interview with NBC Connecticut on Tuesday.

It's the second recent tragedy for this famly. Chavada was badly burned in a house explosion in January of last year, which sent her to the hospital to receive skin grafts.

"This couple was facing adversity and tragedy for so long, and they were so close to having this baby and starting new, and then the dad is murdered. It just feels like, how is this possible?" said Avon resident Carrie Firestone. "So I immediately said to my family, 'We need to do something to try to raise funds or something for this mom and her future baby."

Family friend Slesha Desai said Chavada can't work because of the burns on her arms and legs and depended on her husband for financial support.

"He was the only one who was working, 17 hours or more seven days, you know," Desai explained. "It's really hard on her."

While police continue to search for the two gunmen, donations of money and baby clothes are pouring in for Chavada.

"Please help us raise money for the two remaining members of this family who have lost most of their family, their home, and life as they once knew," family friend Chintu Patel wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to support the family. "100% of the funds raised will be donated to the Patel's [sic] family funeral expenses and any additional expenses they will incur during this time of tragedy."

To donate baby clothes, call Chintu Patel at 203-871-7983.

Photo Credit: GoFundMe

Missing Bridgeport Woman Died of "Homicidal Violence": M.E.


Human remains found near an industrial area of Stratford earlier this week have been identified as those of missing 57-year-old Bridgeport resident Minnie Lincoln, and her cause of death has been ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner's office.

Lincoln disappeared the night of March 27 after leaving a pool hall in Bridgeport with 36-year-old Stratford resident Marcus Jackson.

Police said Jackson was found dead of an apparent suicide when detectives showed up at his home to question him the day they discovered Lincoln's remains. Police said a shot rang out when detectives knocked on his door.

The medical examiner's office said Wednesday that Lincoln died of "homicidal violence of undetermined type."

According to a Bridgeport official, Jackson worked at the city's public safety dispatch center. He also owned the building Lincoln was last seen leaving.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said investigators are determined to piece together what happened to Lincoln.

"This is a horrible episode and our thoughts go out to the communities in Bridgeport and Stratford," Finch said in a statement Monday evening. "Police have worked tirelessly trying to find and bring Minnie home. But, there is information we do not yet know. Detectives are continuing to search for those answers."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Bridgeport Police Department

2 Hartford Firefighters Hurt Battling Blaze in City's South End


Two firefighters were hospitalized Wednesday night after suffering minor injuries at the scene of a fire on Hamilton Street in Hartford, according to Hartford Fire Chief Carlos Huertas.

Department spokesperson Capt. Helene Lynch previously said three firefighters were injured.

Authorities said the firefighters' injuries appear to be minor. According to Huertas, one firefighter suffered a sprained ankle and a second was possibly hit by some sort of tool.

He said they were hurt just moments after arriving on scene, while checking the burning building for people who may have been trapped. Huertas said the multi-family home at 15 Hamilton Street was vacant and under renovation.

"It's primary in Hartford, even in a vacant building, we check all the buildings to do a primary search and make sure no one's in it," Huertas explained.

Commanders ordered all crews out of the building and firefighters continued beating back flames from the outside, according to Lynch. Footage from the scene shows billowing smoke billowing.

"It was scary. I don't know what to do," said neighbor Nicole Garcia. "The only thing that came to my mind was to call 911, that's it."

It's the second fire on this block in recent months. Three people, including an 8-year-old girl, were taken to the hospital in November after a two-alarm blaze ripped through a neighboring apartment building at 22-24 Hamilton Street. The building was destroyed and later demolished.

Firefighters are still investigating the cause of Wednesday night's fire and expect to stay at the scene overnight.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Viewer Photo

Icy Roads, School Delays Possible as Temperatures Drop


Rain showers and dropping temperatures could create icy patches on the roads overnight and even lead to some school delays in the morning, according to First Alert Meteorologist Garett Argianas.

Expect showers and drizzle to continue through Thursday morning. Some sleet could mix with rain in the northern part of the state.

Temperatures will be near freezing in the northern hills overnight. Patches of black ice are possible into the morning, creating the potential for some school delays. Check to see if your school is affected.

Thursday will be cloudy and cool.

2 Charged in Bristol Liquor Store Robbery


Police have arrested two people accused of stealing from a liquor store in Bristol and threatening a clerk with what turned out to be a fake gun.

Police said Joel McCall, 25, and Jemeil White, 22, both Bristol residents, walked into the Bristol Liquor Outlet at 15 Memorial Boulevard just before 6 p.m. Wednesday and each stole a bottle of alcohol.

The clerk managed to hold down one person, later identified as McCall, who told the employee he had a gun. Police said they found a facsimile firearm on him.

White ran from the scene and was found a short distance away, according to police.

McCall and White were each charged with first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, sixth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny. McCall was also charged with illegal use of a fascimile firearm.

Both were held on $75,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Bristol Police Department

$23K in Construction Equipment Stolen From School


Police are investigating after someone stole construction equipment worth $23,000 from Nathan Hale Middle School in Norwalk, according to department spokesman Sgt. Terry Blake.

Blake said the theft was reported around 8:30 a.m. April 6. Officers arrived at the school on Strawberry Hill Avenue and spoke with a construction worker, who said he noticed a chain had been cut on a fence surrounding the school athletic fields, which are currently under construction.

The stolen equipment was taken from a storage container on the construction site. According to police, a jackhammer, demo saw, two lasers and tripods, a target saw and plate tamper were taken.

Authorities are working to identify the person or people responsible.

Anyone with information is urged to call Norwalk police.

New Haven Aims to Become "City That Reads"


Clifford the Big Red Dog helped New Haven get the word out about Saturday's community canvass. More than 700 donated children's books will find good homes.

"We're eager for New Haven to become known as the city that reads!" declared Mayor Toni Harp.

More than 300 households in Newhallville are going to be getting the books. Authorities say based on past experience, the people who open their doors to take them in are thrilled, and so are the people making the deliveries.

"I know a lot of kids out there, they don't get what they need, they don't read," said Jynnasia Smith, a senior at North Haven High. "Some kids even in my grade now, they can't even read correctly so it's best to start early."

"It's a great experience for me but the main point of it is, I love seeing what an impact it makes on the children," said New Haven Academy senior Mark Ifill-Haney.

To lure more walkers to go door to door with these books, there'll be a free breakfast at 9 a.m. Saturday, then the distribution begins at 10.

Sabra Recalls 30K Cases of Hummus


Sabra Dipping Company has voluntarily recalled about 30,000 cases of its Classic Hummus due to possible Listeria contamination, the Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday.

The products being recalled are sold nationwide across all stores and supermarkets, and consumers can find the affected codes below on the top of the packages:

040822011143/300067 -- Sabra Classic Hummus, 10 oz -- 3.059 Best before May 11, 2015.
040822011143/300067 -- Sabra Classic Hummus, 10 oz -- 3.060 Best before May 15, 2015.
040822014687/300074 -- Sabra Classic Hummus, 20 oz -- 3.059 Best before May 11, 2015.
040822342049/301216 -- Sabra Classic Hummus without Garnish, 32 oz - 3.059 Best before May 11, 2015
040822017497/301290 -- Sabra Classic Hummus, 17 oz Six Pack -- 3.058 Best before May 11, 2015
040822017497/301290 -- Sabra Classic Hummus, 17 oz Six Pack -- 3.059 Best before May 11, 2015
040822342209/301283 -- Hummus Dual Pack Classic/Garlic, 23.5 oz -- 3.058 Best before May 11, 2015

So far there have been no reported illnesses associated with the product.

FDA officials say the contamination was discovered by routine random sample of the product collected on March 30 by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

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Teacher Threatened to "Shoot Up" Classroom: Cops


Police have arrested a substitute teacher who they say threatened to "shoot up" a classroom at Putnam Middle School on Wednesday.

Board of Education Chairman Michael Morrill said school administrators dealt with the incident "very swiftly" and removed the substitute teacher from school. According to police, no students were hurt as a result of the alleged threat.

A Putnam mom who asked only to be identified by her first name, Jackie, said the school principal left a message on her phone line at 8:30 p.m. describing what had happened.

"Just saying it was a seventh-grade substitute teacher that had threatened a seventh-grade class stating because the kids, they were misbehaving in the class," Jackie said. "And that's the term that she said – she was going to shoot up the classroom."

Morrill said school leadership reached out earlier in the day to parents whose children were directly affected. He added that most people at school weren't even aware of the incident at the time and said the day continued as scheduled.

The substitute teacher has been identified only as a woman. Police have not released her name, and school officials couldn't comment on the nature of the incident, citing personnel concerns.

"I'm just kind of disappointed because Putnam is a good school and good community. It's just sad to see that this had to happen in our community," Jackie said. "My daughter is the one really scared and she's only 8 years old. She doesn't feel safe after she heard about it."

Morrill said the school superintendent plans to investigate the incident. He said the board is pleased with the way the superintendent and school administration addressed it and that the school system is "critically concerned with student safety."

Some families, however, wish the school had reached out to parents sooner.

"I think they should have locked down the school and notified the parents immediately," said Marsha, whose grandson attends Putnam Middle School. "Thank God it was only a verbal threat, but who knows what she could have had in her purse."

Jackie's son, Josh, attends eighth grade at Putnam Middle School. He called the situation "upsetting" and said he probably knows some of the students in the classroom where it happened.

"I don't think I will send my kids to school tomorrow," Jackie said.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Boston Bomber Guilty, Could Face Death


Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on all counts Wednesday, setting the stage for a possible death sentence for his role in the attacks that killed three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and brought the city to a standstill nearly two years ago. 

Tsarnaev seemed to have little reaction as a federal jury delivered guilty verdicts on all 30 counts he faced, most of which could result in a death penalty sentence.  At times, he looked down or at his attorneys, NECN's Alysha Palumbo reported, leaning back in his chair and playing with his hair before the jurors left the courtroom. 

Tsarnaev, who according to prosecutors wrote that the bombings were retaliation for Muslim deaths, was captured three days after pressure cookers exploded near the marathon's finish line in April 2013. More than 260 people were injured, some of them losing limbs.

"The incidents of those days have forever left a mark on our City," Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement after the decision was returned. "As we remember those who lost so much, we reflect on how tragedy revealed our deepest values, and the best of who we are as a community."

The penalty phase of the trial could begin as soon as next week, but has not yet been scheduled. Still, the guilty verdicts, delivered after 17 days of testimony and just 11 hours of deliberations, were met by officials and victims as an opportunity for the city to continue to heal following the devastating blasts. 

"Today's verdict will never replace the lives that were lost and so dramatically changed, but it is a relief, and one step closer to closure," Jeffrey Bauman, who lost both legs in the bombing, said in a statement. 

Timothy P. Alben, superintendent and colonel of the Massachusetts State Police, said the department hopes "to turn another page in the recovery and healing of our community." 

"We are hopeful that in justice, those that have been injured may find some sense of peace," he said. 

From the trial's opening statements, there seemed to be little doubt that Tsarnaev would be found guilty. His noted defense lawyer, Judy Clarke, conceded that it was Tsarnaev shown in surveillance footage leaving behind a bomb hidden in a backpack.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty, in his closing argument on Monday, portrayed Tsarnaev as a full participant in the bombings as he “brought terrorism to backyards and Main Street.”

"He wanted to terrorize this country," Chakravarty said. "He wanted to punish America for what it was doing to his people."

Clarke, known for helping notorious criminals avoid death sentences, countered that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was an adolescent drawn into the passion of his older brother. He knew it was wrong to kill innocents but thought that his actions would make a difference, she said.

"We don't deny that Dzhokhar participated in these events, but if not for Tamerlan it would not have happened,” she said.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have been focused on sparing him the death penalty. They have portrayed the now 21-year-old as an impressionable young man in the sway of his older brother, Tamerlan, who became a radicalized Muslim. The brothers, ethnic Chechens, had fled violence in the Russian Caucasus region.

Tsarnaev faced 30 charges, 17 of which carry the death penalty.  They included conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, the use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and possession and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in resulting in death.

Bombing victim Jarrod Clowery told NECN he wasn't surprised by the verdict. He said he hoped Tsarnaev would get life in prison instead of death, because he said the convicted bomber had wanted to be put together.

He also said he had eschewed following the trial closely in favor of moving on from the trauma of two years ago. He's now filming a TV show about pool and billiards called "The Hustlers."

"Overall, me and some of the other survivors I know, we're moving on," he said. "I'm living my life."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with police and after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ran him over while trying to escape, according to prosecutors. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found hiding in a boat.

In instructions to the jurors, Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. of Federal District Court in Boston told them they could decide that Tsarnaev committed the crime directly, abetted in the crime or both.

In addition to the marathon bombing, Tsarnaev was found guilty of killing MIT police officer Sean Collier.

Chakravarty told the jurors that Tsarnaev could see that children were in front of him at the marathon's finish line.

He argued that the lectures on terrorism and songs that Tsarnaev had listened to for more than a year had convinced him that he was doing right.

The government showed jurors photographs after the bombs went off, including one of Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager, screaming in pain moments before she died.

Eight-year-old Martin Richard and Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old graduate student from China, both bled to death after being hit by shrapnel from the two bombs. On surveillance video, Martin’s father, Bill, is trying to get help.

Clarke said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s prints were not found on the bomb-making materials only his brother's, and it was Tamerlan Tsarnaev who bought the batteries and other items used to set off the bombs. 

Tsarnaev’s lawyers called only four witnesses, all of them investigators who gathered evidence.

A terrorism expert testifying for the government told jurors that a note written by Tsarnaev while he was hiding in the boat included themes of global jihad, echoed ideas found in the al Qaida magazine, Inspire, and condemned U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The government offered graphic testimony about the victims’ wounds.

Alysha Palumbo and Glenn Marshall contributed to this article.

Photo Credit: AP
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