McKEEVER TRIAL BEGINS
A former Ocean Beach Park banquet manager, first responders and the operator of a Hodges Square package store testified Monday as alleged killer David McKeever’s murder trial began before a three-judge panel. The 50-year-old McKeever, who is legally blind, hearing impaired and has a history of mental illness and substance abuse, has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. The prosecution began the task of proving to the judges that McKeever killed Delma Murphy. The prosecution expects to call three additional witnesses Tuesday. Defense attorney Christopher Duby is expected to call a psychiatrist when the trial resumes on Monday, Oct. 29th. The judges will then deliberate to determine whether McKeever committed the crime and whether the defense has proven by a proponderance of the evidence that he is not guilty by reason of insanity.
LYME MAN CHARGED IN TEEN’S DEATH
State police have charged a Lyme man in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident in Old Lyme last year that claimed the life of a 19-year-old Old Saybrook man.
Daniel Coffee turned himself in to state police Monday. He faces multiple charges including evading responsibility in a motor vehicle accident that results in a death. Coffee is being held on a $75,000 bond and was arraigned yesterday. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
PHONE SCAM DEPICTS KIDNAPPING
Norwich Police are investigating a phone scam. It involved a fake hostage or kidnapping situation along with a demand for money. A similar scam was reported by several residents in East Lyme last month. Norwich police say complaints were received about a male claiming to have the daughter or granddaughter of the person they are calling. Each call ended in a demand for money. Police said the scam is occurring in other areas of the state as well. They say most scams request payment in untraceable forms such as gift card numbers or third-party money transfer services. No financial losses were reported in any of the scams.
ROAD REPAIRS ON BALLOT
The Town of Montville will ask voters to back a ten-year, $10 million plan to overhaul many of the town’s roads. The Nov. 6th ballots will include a question letting voters decide whether the town should appropriate the spending “for road improvements and pavement projects” and borrow $10 million to finance the work. The town must hold a referendum for “any non-budget expenditure which exceeds five percent of the tax levy. The town’s general tax levy is about $39.8 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Several town councilors support the move, but some officials say it’s not a good time to add to the town’s debt.
CHURCH SIGN DRAWS PROTEST
A sign posted in front of a Rhode Island church ended up energizing others in the surrounding community to rally against the message. The sign posted in front of Westerly’s Immaculate Conception Church read “God’s Marriage (equals) 1 Man + 1 Woman,” and the sign was left up after a Saturday service. The sign prompted a large Sunday rally at Westerly’s Town Hall, with dozens of signs raised support of the LGBTQ community. The rally was organized by Megan Toscano, who says it meant a lot to see people come out in support. The church’s Monsignor Carlo Montecalvo says the sign wasn’t put up to offend anyone, but reflects the church’s teachings. The sign has since been taken down.
ROTARIANS DONATE TO MIRACLE LEAGUE PROJECT
The Niantic Rotary Club continues to support local organizations with a $15,000 donation to the Miracle League of Southeastern Connecticut. The donation puts the Miracle League’s fundraising efforts this year at $200,000. The Miracle League wants to build an accessible recreational field so wheelchair-bound children can play a variety of sports. It will be the third of its kind in the state.