New evidence emerges in lake death

State await­ing FBI re­port on lab re­sults

The News-Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Ken­dra Baker

DAN­BURY — New evidence has been sub­mit­ted in the case of an Oakville man charged for his role in a wo­man’s death on Can­dle­wood Lake last sum­mer.

Gary Mor­rone is fac­ing crim­i­nally neg­li­gent homi­cide and first-de­gree reck­less boat­ing charges in the death of a Water­bury teacher last June.

Wanda Ti­rado, 38, was thrown from a pon­toon boat pi­loted by Mor­rone near Squantz Cove in New Fair­field and in­jured by the boat’s pro­pel­ler.

Mor­rone’s pre­trial hear­ing at state Su­pe­rior Court in Dan­bury on Wed­nes­day was con­tin­ued to July 10.

“We’re wait­ing on an FBI re­port,” State’s At­tor­ney Stephen Se­den­sky said. “We sent some evidence down to the lab and we’re wait­ing on the re­sults.”

Se­den­sky did not dis­close what kind of evidence was sub­mit­ted.

Mor­rone, 66, pleaded not guilty ear­lier this year to the crim­i­nally neg­li­gent homi­cide and reck­less boat­ing charges — class A and

B mis­de­meanors, re­spec­tively — as well as to a charge for fail­ure to re­port a boat­ing ac­ci­dent.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors said they have found in­con­sis­ten­cies in Mor­rone’s de­scrip­tion of the events that led to Ti­rado’s death.

Emer­gency per­son­nel in New Fair­field were dis­patched to the lake around 2:15 p.m. June 19 for re­ports that a man and an in­jured wo­man had been pulled from the lake by a Good Samar­i­tan who had spot­ted both in the wa­ter a few min­utes apart, ac­cord­ing to an En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion Po­lice re­port.

An­other boater ini­tially

helped the man — later iden­ti­fied as Mor­rone — back onto his pon­toon boat. The boater told po­lice Mor­rone, who smelled of al­co­hol, then left the scene in his boat. Ti­rado was found about five min­utes later, face down in the wa­ter.

Res­cue per­son­nel per­formed CPR on Ti­rado, but they found “sig­nif­i­cant trau­mas to her right arm

and head con­sis­tent with in­juries of a pro­pel­ler strike,” ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Of­fi­cers tried to find Mor­rone, but dis­cov­ered he had left the lake. He ar­rived at Dan­bury Hos­pi­tal more than an hour later and spoke with po­lice — although the ma­rina is only 15 min­utes from the hos­pi­tal, po­lice noted in the re­port. Po­lice also noted “glar­ing in­con­sis­ten­cies” in Mor­rone’s ex­pla­na­tion that he had been swim­ming with Ti­rado when his boat be­gan to drift away from them. He later changed his story and stated he heard her yell for help, walked around on the boat to find her and then jumped into the wa­ter to help her, po­lice said.

DEEP / Con­trib­uted photo

Gary Mor­rone

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