The Day

NL murder trial to start with or without defendant

Petteway: No plans to attend his own trial in death of Robert Parise

- By GREG SMITH Day Staff Writer

Christophe­r Petteway told New London Superior Court Judge Shari Murphy on Thursday that he has no plans to attend his own murder trial, which is scheduled to start on Monday.

“It’s my choice not to come to court,” an agitated Petteway said during a virtual hearing with the judge and two attorneys.

Petteway, dressed in a yellow prison shirt, was seated in a room at the prison where he is being held.

“I’m not coming to court until I’m allowed to represent myself or have a different attorney,” Petteway said. “I’m not doing it any more. It causes me trauma.”

Petteway, 46, is charged with murder and violation of a standing criminal protective order in the Oct. 4, 2018, stabbing death of his former housemate and partner, 63-year-old salon owner Robert Parise of New London.

Petteway had allegedly threatened to kill Parise following his release from a prison sentence related to domestic violence. At the time of his death, Parise was a client of Safe Futures, the area agency that assists victims of domestic violence.

Often talking over Judge Murphy during Thursday’s virtual hearing, Petteway at one point dumped a manilla folder of paperwork onto the floor. He repeated his claims that his constituti­onal rights are being violated by being discipline­d by the Department of Correction for refusing transport to the courthouse.

Disruption­s are nothing new in the case. Petteway has had various complaints since the court proceeding­s started, writing letters and filing hand-written motions. His complaints about back problems led to special transporta­tion to and from the prison. He was allowed to fire his original two public defenders.

Petteway later complained about New Haven Attorney Christophe­r Duby, who had been appointed by the court to represent him, and was granted a request to represent himself at trial with Duby as standby counsel.

“I have been extremely accommodat­ing to your requests,” Murphy said.

Petteway, however, after initially appearing for the start of jury selection, had again refused to be transporte­d to court.

Murphy appointed Duby to represent him, ruling that Petteway had

waived the right to represent himself.

Jury selection was completed this week, but Duby has since filed a motion to withdraw as Petteway’s attorney since Petteway refuses to speak to him.

“The defendant’s failure to appear in court and communicat­e with the undersigne­d have made it impossible for the undersigne­d to represent him in compliance with the Rules of Profession­al Conduct,” Duby wrote in his motion.

Murphy denied Duby’s March 17 withdrawal request.

Duby, who was present with Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Carney at Thursday’s virtual meeting, has appealed that decision to the Appellate Court and additional­ly filed a motion to halt the proceeding while his appeal is heard.

Petteway has filed another motion to represent himself, which Judge Murphy said would be taken up on Monday prior to presentati­on of evidence in the case.

Murphy again reminded Petteway of his rights, which includes the right not to come to court and not to testify. She said that Petteway can come to court whenever he wants and that a special viewing room would be set up to accommodat­e him in the event he does not want to be in the courtroom.

Petteway, who has domestic violence-related criminal conviction­s in Virginia, Florida and New York dating back to 2001, has been evaluated by a team of clinicians twice since his arrest and found competent to stand trial.

Petteway remains held in lieu of $2.05 million bond and housed at MacDougall-Walker Correction­al Institutio­n in Suffield. He has a pending lawsuit against the city of New London and Officer Jeffrey Nichols seeking damages connected to an April 16, 2017, incident when he was struck by a New London Police vehicle.

 ?? SEAN D. ELLIOT/THE DAY ?? Christophe­r Petteway appears Oct. 5, 2018, in New London Superior Court on murder charges in the stabbing death of Robert Parise.
SEAN D. ELLIOT/THE DAY Christophe­r Petteway appears Oct. 5, 2018, in New London Superior Court on murder charges in the stabbing death of Robert Parise.
 ?? ?? Robert Parise
Robert Parise

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States