Hartford–The murder case of Dr. Lishan Wang, who has yet to go to trial on charges that he killed a Yale University physician six years ago, was back at the Connecticut Supreme Court yesterday. The court is expected to decide in the next several months whether to affirm or reject a trial judge’s order to forcibly medicate Dr. Wang in order to try to make him competent to stand trial.
This is the second time that the state’s highest court has heard arguments in the Wang case, a case that nearly two years ago set new law regarding pro-se representation. (The state’s public defender’s office now pays for experts even if it doesn’t represent an indigent defendant.) The high court now decides whether to uphold an order by Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O’Keefe, Jr., the trial judge, to medicate Dr. Wang against his will.
The groundbreaking case, now six years old, has rattled the criminal justice system, testing the rules for how Connecticut prosecutes murders and when seemingly delusional people may serve as their own attorney. The case has also raised the question of how the state’s psychiatric hospitals are evaluating defendants who must be deemed competent to stand trial to begin with.
Branford resident Michelle Sember described the struggles of her oldest son, 22-year-old RJ, who went from a high school football player with good grades to a full-blown heroin addict after experimenting with pot, alcohol, and pills. Her advice: “Be a parent and not a friend.”
The epidemic of opioid use in Connecticut has burst into the public’s consciousness over the past few months. It started with reports of overdoses in the New London area and now extends throughout the state and the country.
Branford is not immune, as Sember explained at a recent panel on the topic held in Branford. The panel, organized by State Rep. Sean Scanlon, took place at fire headquarters.
When the case began, it was described as a rare “no body and no crime scene” murder in Branford.
When it ended, in state Superior Court today in New Haven, there was a body, of sorts, and a crime scene, of sorts.
However, the accused assailant, Thomas Malinka, did not plead to a murder count, which had been dropped in exchange for a plea agreement that produced body parts.
It was, as Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Clifford told the court Friday morning before imposing sentence, “an extremely unique agreement to say the least.” The judge observed that the state had painted a sadistic scenario, adding that “one could infer” that Malinka caused the victim’s death.
A Branford man with a long court history of domestic violence was arrested Saturday night after a series of alleged attacks, including a violent dispute with his girlfriend; an attempt to choke Joker, the Branford police dog; and attacks on two police officers who sustained minor injuries.
The attacks took place on Saturday night at the Branford Motel, 470 East Main St., an address the Branford police know by heart. The motel has been the scene of numerous arrests over the years, a hot spot, police officials say for various kinds of criminal activity, activity that requires service from police, fire or emergency service. Primarily the calls are for police aid.
Branford-based clothing manufacturer FYC International will pay $80,000 to settle a sexual harassment civil lawsuit against three workers.
The three women filed a lawsuit against FYC International Inc. through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2014, alleging that the warehouse manager regularly made inappropriate sexual comments and advances on them. The company is no longer in operation but must provide safeguards to prevent future discrimination if it re-emerges, in addition to the financial settlement, the EEOC announced Friday.
A neighbor who lives near the Atlantic Wharf residential and commercial project on Meadow Street has filed an appeal in New Haven Superior Court to reverse the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision approving the project.
Attorney, Michael P. D’Amico, who practices in New Haven, represents property owner Rosemary Costanzo, who lives on Wilford Avenue. He claims the P&Z decision is illegal for one or more of three allegations. He alleges that P&Z commissioner Marci Palluzzi had a conflict of interest and should not have voted; that the legal notices for the public hearing were faulty, and that the traffic study was flawed.
Mike Wishnie, who directs Yale Law School’s legal services programs, says he is optimistic, perhaps foolishly so, that that there will be a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court before President Obama leaves office. He says time and the reelection efforts of Republican senators may turn the tide away from nay-sayers.
A 26-year-old Bridgeport man, arrested for possession of cocaine and a loaded gun, was found parked in the early hours of the morning last week in an area known as a hot spot for motor vehicle and criminal activity.
James Nelson was arrested near 3 Business Park Drive, not far from the Branford Motel and the TA Truck Stop, locations the Branford police have long investigated and patrolled. It is not unusual for police to arrest people from other areas of the state who have heard about places to buy illegal drugs.
A groundbreaking murder case has been ticking and ticking and ticking at the state courthouse on Church Street for more than five years now. It has yet to come to trial—but it’s already headed to the state Supreme Court for a second time, with the potential to set new rules for how Connecticut prosecutes murders and to test the limits on when seemingly delusional people may serve as their own lawyer.