Friday, November 16, 2012

Guilty Plea Expected in Trautwein Murder

STAMFORD -- A former New Haven mechanic whose conviction for murdering North Stamford resident Joanne Trautwein in 2005 was overturned by the state Supreme Court a little over a year ago is expected to plead guilty to the murder. 

Harry Gonzalez, 45, who is now serving a 25-year sentence for killing his New Haven roommate, is to appear at state Superior Court in Stamford Friday morning. His attorney, Francis O'Reilly, said if the plea agreement goes forward as planned, Gonzalez will plead guilty to murder in the Trautwein case.

In 2007, Gonzalez was convicted of felony murder, robbery and kidnapping in the case involving the 75-year-old former Greenwich school teacher and sentenced to 80 years in prison.

While Gonzalez' girlfriend, Jennifer Kos, testified he killed Trautwein while she subdued the woman's roommate, the case was overturned in August 2011 on the grounds that police took statements from Gonzalez before he was read his Miranda rights and after he asked for an attorney.

The statements -- about him appearing at Trautwein's Rockrimmon Road home looking for work the day of the murder -- survived a hearing to have them suppressed at trial and were presented to the jury, which may have led to his conviction.

O'Reilly said he did not want to publicly discuss before Friday's hearing the specifics of what prosecutors are offering in return for a guilty plea.

"Ever since the case was overturned by the Supreme Court and ordered back for trial, we have been involved in lengthy negotiations between ourselves and the state and we have come to an agreement that is satisfactory to my client," he said.

O'Reilly said the sentence will be quite a bit shorter than the 80-year sentence given by Judge John Kavanewsky.

"While it is a very substantial period of incarceration, it is significantly lower than was initially imposed upon him by Judge Kavanewsky," he said.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Maureen Ornowsky, who tried at the Stamford courthouse, would only say that Gonzalez is to come to court Friday to determine if the case can be resolved or go to trial again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

R.I.P. Andrew Roach

AITE Edge article written by :
On Friday, the second of November, tragedy struck the small town of Darien when Andrew Roach, 19, took his life. Behind him, he left a family and a short-lived lifetime of youth and friendships. He graduated from AITE in June, unable to complete the last year of his life.

Andrew was born on August 6th, 1993. He was introduced to the concept of death at the age of 7, when his mother died, leaving him with his father and two sisters.

He grew up in Darien, and attended high school here at AITE. Andrew was a volunteer fireman at the Round Hill Fire Company in Greenwich, which he began working at on December 7th of last year. After graduating from AITE in June 2012, he also graduated from the Stamford Regional Fire School. His life seemed to be more or less on track.

Andrew was a boy with a life and with friends just like any other teen. A hobby of his was sailing, which he did at the Cedar Point Yacht Club, and at Camp Sloane. His inspiration for becoming a firefighter was the tragedy of 9/11, in which his father was involved. He looked up to his father ever since then, when he helped get victims of the attack out of the rubble via setting up an enormous tool stand. After that, he attended more than one memorial for the event, and was inspired to do good for people. The Daily Voice quoted him as being “optimistic about the future.”

Like other unlucky teenagers nationwide, Andrew Roach suffered from depression for years. His family noticed a lack of interest to do anything. It came with much grief and little surprise when they discovered his fate.

Andrew Roach was just another face in these hallways last year, and just another boy in the town of Darien. Yet to some people, he was a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, and a best friend. They choose to remember how he lived, not how he died.

Rest in peace, Andrew Roach.