New evidence emerges in lake death
State awaiting FBI report on lab results
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.