State sen­tenc­ing on hold in W. Haven slay­ing Page B1

Vic­tim killed in West Haven, bound in plas­tic, dumped in Ham­den park

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Phyllis Swe­bil­ius

MIL­FORD — State sen­tenc­ing was post­poned Tues­day for a West Haven man who killed his room­mate and at­tempted to blow up his body in Ham­den.

Christo­pher Miller’s date in Su­pe­rior Court for the July 4, 2015, mur­der of Ed­ward Brooks, 39, has been stayed un­til Dec. 15.

But first, he will be sen­tenced Dec. 14 in U.S. District Court. Miller pleaded guilty in April to pos­ses­sion of a firearm and explosives in fur­ther­ance of a drug traf­fick­ing crime.

Po­lice have said Miller shot Brooks in a two-fam­ily house they shared with sev­eral peo­ple in West Haven, then drove his body to a park in Ham­den, where he tried to blow it up.

At the time of the shoot­ing, po­lice linked the two men with drugs, Miller’s ar­rest war­rant ap­pli­ca­tion said. In­ves­ti­ga­tors al­legedly found crack co­caine and metham­phetamine in the “known drug house,” the ap­pli­ca­tion said. Brooks was de­scribed as Miller’s drug “mule,” who did his “dirty work” in ex­change for liv­ing in the base­ment.

Brooks’ body was found in the woods af­ter a re­ported ex­plo­sion in West Rock Ridge State Park in Ham­den. It was wrapped in plas­tic and bound with rope, with an ex­plo­sive and de­bris nearby. Brooks, a di­vorced fa­ther of two, had suf­fered three ap­par­ent gun­shot wounds. He was iden­ti­fied through fin­ger­prints.

Oth­ers ar­rested in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the crime were: Natali Martinez, 32, also Natali Martinez-Sanchez, who lived on the first floor of the house at 59 Front Ave., with Miller and her three chil­dren, then-un­der age 14; Miller’s mother, Deb­o­rah Miller, 61, and James Lloyd Bryant, 66, who lived on the sec­ond floor; and Mau­rice D. “Mo” Wear­ing, 28, a grand­son of for­mer New Haven Po­lice Chief Melvin Wear­ing who lived on Kil­born Street in West Haven.

In July 2015, fed­eral au­thor­i­ties ar­rested all five and charged them with con­spir­acy to dis­trib­ute and to pos­sess with in­tent to dis­trib­ute co­caine base (“crack co­caine”).

Christo­pher Miller is be­ing held in lieu of $1.74 mil­lion bail at MacDougal­lWalker Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion in Suffield on one count of mur­der and other charges. He is rep­re­sented by Zin­garro & Cretella LLC of Bridge­port.

Bryant is sched­uled to be sen­tenced Dec. 17 in Su­pe­rior Court in Mil­ford. He is rep­re­sented by Matthew D. Popi­lowski, of Lynch, Traub, Keefe and Er­rante of New Haven. Bryant is guilty of tam­per­ing with phys­i­cal ev­i­dence, a class D felony. He has been held since July 2015 at Mac­Dougall-Walker Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion in Suffield in lieu of $500,000 bail. He faces up to five years in prison. In 2016, he pleaded guilty to fed­eral charges of con­spir­acy to dis­trib­ute and to pos­sess with in­tent to dis­trib­ute co­caine base (crack).

Wear­ing is be­ing held on a weapons charge in lieu of $1.2 mil­lion bail at North­ern Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion. He is fac­ing six felonies, in­clud­ing a con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der charge and his case is on the state trial list. His at­tor­ney is John Bar­ney Jr. of Mil­ford. Wear­ing has pleaded guilty to fed­eral con­spir­acy to dis­trib­ute and to pos­sess with in­tent to dis­trib­ute co­caine base (crack) and pos­ses­sion of an ex­plo­sive by a con­victed felon and will be sen­tenced Feb. 14 in fed­eral court.

Martinez is in fed­eral cus­tody serv­ing three years af­ter plead­ing guilty in 2016 to one count of con­spir­acy to dis­trib­ute and to pos­sess with in­tent to dis­trib­ute co­caine base (crack).

Deb­o­rah Miller is serv­ing six years in fed­eral prison af­ter plead­ing guilty in 2016 to one count of con­spir­acy to dis­trib­ute and to pos­sess with in­tent to dis­trib­ute co­caine base (crack), and faces five years of su­per­vised re­lease.

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